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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Return Of Gatsby Chic Is Well And Truly Upon Us

Will Boehlke of A Suitable Wardrobe laments the passing of the seasons on his blog. He wears a Eugene bow tie from Le Noeud Papillon Of Sydney

There is a big difference between the true American reverence for the period which inspired Fitzgerald's Gatsby, and the stylised version which is currently being bandied around as a trailer on the internet by Australian director Baz Luhrmann. Luhrmann's film, for which I will admit I have a certain tainted view (I have my reasons - buy me a drink and I will tell you the story blow by blow), seems a lot more stylised. The difference is best represented by the earthly attachment which is represented in the fashionable photo above versus the heady ethereal version which is seen in the film's trailer. Those of you who follow blogs know that if you search the term "1920's governors island party" into google images, you will find more of those earthly tones to the period which the Americans are so fond of, which in fact were represented very well in the 1974 film by Francis Ford Coppola.

Coppola did an excellent job of the film in terms of how it looked and felt - where he fell down, in my opinion, was in casting Robert Redford as Gatsby - who by then must have been in his forties with withered sun kissed hands (Gatsby is 29 years old from my interpretation of the book). He was also unable to create the right kind of antagonism by casting a Tom Buchanan that wasn't vicious enough. Coppola's Buchanan was too much the sissy. I am hoping that this aspect will at least be corrected by the version which is due out mid 2013 - which by then will have seen the trailer sitting out there for about 18 months, making it one of the most over-hyped film trailers in cinematic history. This will no doubt put too much pressure on a film which deserves none owing to how difficult the story line is to turn into a movie; and which has had the Gatsby theme already come full circle and ready to head out the back door again by the time the film is released. Let us hope that we get the film before the craze has passed and before people have an astounding level of pressure on the film because of the enormous time they have had to wait for it to be released. It is, again in my opinion, going to be heavily critiqued, mostly because it is one of the most iconic pieces of literature of the 20th Century - the centre piece for the Jazz Age writers. It takes big balls to throw yourself into the lion's den like that - let us hope it pays off.

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