Critical Approaches to Culture + Communications

A Weblog by Ron Burnett (Founded in 1994 and now celebrating 23 Years!!)

This site began as one of the first academic sites in Canada when the World Wide Web was in its early phase of development. I have maintained it through many iterations since 1994.

Moulin Rouge by Baz Luhrmann (2)

Dene comments:

What stood out for me from the first viewing to the last of the film _Moulin Rouge_ were the common themes that, despite all of our postmodern "cynicism" (as you call it, Ron), still resonate in our culture.

Take, for instance, the song Satine sings when she does Madonna's "Material Girl" doing Marilyn Monroe's "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." The tradition of the blonde bombshell is still with us whether we like it or not. It drives me nuts, but we have to ask, would Paris Hilton be so infamous if she were a brunette and frumpy? Not according to Luhrmann. Not in our culture. Ever.

And the updating of the fallen woman theme, seen in the song "Lady Marmalade," from the sleazy streets of New Orleans to the tawdry ones leading to the Moulin Rouge cabaret pokes fun at our pretensions that we are more sophisticated and worldly than our forbears. Truth be told, Christine, Lil' Kim, Mya, and Pink have nothing on Patti. They are all cut from the same naughty cloth. Certainly all their hair is just as weird:)

But I guess the most important theme to emerge from the film is passion--the kind that begins with strong physical attraction but grows into eternal love that death cannot even destroy. When Christian and Satine sing the duet "Elephant Love Medley," they engage in a seductive, verbal intercourse that presages the physical one soon to come. Most importantly, we as viewers come to realize the parallel between the love they share and the kind we feel for art and for film.

Thank you for introducing the topic.