Gatsby: It’s Coming Right at Me!

I’ve been advised not to bother watching any of The Great Gatsby’s film adaptations, and I’ve taken that advice to heart. Because who needs more anger in their lives these days? Not me.

This one will be unavoidable. It’ll be as easy to ignore as a stampede of wildebeests through my apartment complex. Likewise, the prospect of it is drawing both cheers of excitement and sobs of trepidation, depending on whom you talk to.

A friend told me that during her first reading of Gatsby in high school, she also went to see Moulin Rouge. She was convinced ever since that Luhrmann is the rightful director for this movie, and now proves herself to be something of a prophet.

But prophets also predict disasters, like earthquakes and swarms of locusts.

I wasn’t initially bothered by Baz Luhrmann’s involvement. He could probably capture the splendor of Gatsby’s parties, where “in his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” (The ambient aspect of Fitzgerald’s prose is doable on film, but people have asked how anyone can convey the internal. What I feel when I read the line, “No amount of fire or freshness can challenge what a man will store up in his ghostly heart,” I don’t think film can possibly replicate, so good luck, Baz.)

But lately I’ve been having strange nightmares. The kind that have me thrashing in the bed, muttering in tongues, only to wake up screaming at something that isn’t there. For several days, the source of this recent phenomenon remained a mystery. Then I read that Luhrmann is considering filming The Great Gatsby in 3-D.

My first reaction was just like everyone else’s: “Ha, that’s a funny article! I love reading The Onion.” But this wasn’t The Onion. He was honest-to-God thinking about making Gatsby 3-D.

Can anyone think of a sequence from the book that 3-D could possibly improve, besides when Myrtle Wilson becomes Rolls Royce roadkill? Luhrmann might, however, be working in some revisions, like a shootout or two.

“Take this gun, Old Sport–a Swiss-made Pistol Parebellum from my Oxford days that I had fitted with a cedar stock. She’s a beaut, isn’t she? That’s real silver. Now let’s feed these lousy coppers some hot lead.”

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2 thoughts on “Gatsby: It’s Coming Right at Me!

  1. This is interesting news. I had no idea! Luhrmann on Gatsby. I’m gonna have to think about that one. But I do agree on one point; the adaptations so far have been disappointing.

    Everyone’s going 3D these days. I don’t particularly enjoy 3D films, it takes me about half an hour to adjust my eyes to the whole thing, then before you know it it’s over.

  2. I’m lukewarm on 3D, too (even if it’s a movie where that augmentation makes sense). I get this gee-whiz enjoyment until the novelty wears off after 30 minutes. Then I’m just removing both my glasses and the provided ones every so often to massage the aching, aching bridge of my nose. And you miss important explosions when you do that.

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