‘New York, 1922. The tempo of the city had changed sharply. The buildings were higher. The parties were bigger. The moons were looser and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness, approached hysteria.’
Confetti falls, fireworks explode and sparkle, expensive shirts are flung from mezzanine floors, orchids are in abundance, sleek cars glide, while Jay-Z and Kanye pump in the background. Released this morning was Luhrmann’s first taste of his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic text (some might say ‘sacred’, given the early reaction to this new adaptation).
This is Gatsby on crack – it’s bright and brash, and everything you’d expect from a Luhrmann film. The first thing that struck me was how startlingly bright, lurid, almost oversaturated its colours are – compared to the muted, watercolour shades of its most famous 1974 adaptation to screen. Indeed, far from the stately pace of the book, this watches almost like an action film.
Sadly, from the trailer we don’t get the effect of 3D, although I must say that I think the ever-watchful eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg will be particularly affecting rendered in this new medium (see 1.55 mins into the trailer below). The costuming is sumptuous, and it seems to capture and revel in the recklessness and extreme wealth of the age that Fitzgerald’s work conveyed so wonderfully.
The film opens on December 25th, and I’m excited to go along for the ride. Have a look below and see what you think.