The strategy behind rolling out Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" for the Cannes Film Festival makes sense considering how artful and ritzy the film is expected to be. Having a mainstream U.S. premiere for a film that uses Hip-Hop music as the soundtrack to a story that takes place in the 1920s isn't going to create anything except immediate criticism from invited critics. As well, it's easy to remember the divided reaction to Luhrmann's similar "Moulin Rouge" 12 years ago that was so wide, there was nearly a civil war over the reaction.
Of course, the difference here is that "The Great Gatsby" is also in 3D and promising to bring a new type of experience that was first promised by "Life of Pi." And while "Pi" was staggering in its 3D scope, the effects were still geared toward the feeling of movement with gallons of water (and other assorted sea objects) being thrown in our visual space. In that regard, the new psychological effects of 3D that were promised with "Pi" ended up being more or less about the same as most action movies.
"Gatsby" is promising to be a different experience. It's the first time a straight drama will have been done in 3D, thus creating a different reality within spaces utilizing merely people, set designs, and relationship situations. Unless vases are thrown at the camera, it's likely we'll get a uniquely surreal look at the 1920s through the oddball Luhrmann eye.
A Cannes audience will likely lap this up, if perhaps throwing out a few boos as a portion of the annual Cannes audience typically does. It really is a litmus test, though, on whether people want to see 3D in interior spaces rather than wide vistas or action-oriented scenes. How would such a thing work in order to create that psychological response?
Most of it will have to come in much more astute framings of a scene. If this becomes standard, the craft of filmmaking may take more exacting time to create a subtle depth between where characters are standing and what interiors they inhabit. That becomes all the more complex when we see the hedonistic parties of the "Gatsby" world, which may involve more action than we think.
Those who've read the F. Scott Fitzgerald book, however, know it's mostly about relationships. A 3D reality may heighten the emotion of how the Gatsby world corrupts the other characters, no matter if we see it in a more confined universe. That means experiencing more of a vivid aura on the faces of Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan who may or may not translate well when countenances are given a 3D close-up.
Critics of DiCaprio may think it'll prove he's not capable of emoting all that much as an actor. Others may not even care and go for the overall escape-worthy ambiance. Or, it may surprise everybody and end up being more of a gimmicky 3D than initially thought.
We're only to assume that the psychological effect of 3D will have its jumping off point here. Unless Luhrmann was pressured into sticking in a few car chases and other action-oriented elements not in the book, we may have to wait longer to see how multi-dimensionality works in creating new cinematic layers to interactions of human beings.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Baz Luhrmann