It’s Monday — here’s to your crew having your back.
Image: Leonardo DiCaprio and the Montague crew in Baz Lurhmann’s Romeo + Juliet (1996).
Unfortunately for us, it is no longer 1966. If it were so, and we were in Hawaii, we would probably be celebrating the weekly tradition known as “Aloha Friday,” in which employers allowed their workers to shed their stuffy, formal garb in place of a breezy, casual Hawaiian shirt. But let’s be real, now that it’s 2013 these perfectly patterned shirts—adorned with florals, automobiles, Polynesian motifs, etc.—are perfectly suited for any day, any time. And now that it’s officially summer, I see no reason why everyone shouldn’t be donning their own take on the classic look.
And throughout cinematic history, we’ve seen myriad male characters whose signature style features some variation on the Hawaiian shirt. Those clad in such usually tend to fall into the category of the wild—the outlaws, the druggies, the lunatic—but not exclusively. Some are simply anachronistically displaced and broken-hearted tragic heroes or musically-inclined soliders on vacation, you know? So as continues to be a delightful 15 degrees, and as you begin to dream of trading in your thick layers of black for tropical textiles, take a look back on some of the most iconic Hawaiian shirts in cinema. Enjoy.
Whether your preference lies in Kenneth Brannaugh, Ethan Hawke, or Mel Gibosn, it’s evident than modern adaptations of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet are of a vast variety. But when it comes to those modern variations on Billy Shakes’ text, what’s important is to breathe fresh life into the work—even if the film may not be everyone’s precise cup of tea, the filmmaker must do what’s possible to bring the words to life in a way that we couldn’t simply gain from the words on the page. And although Brannaugh’s myriad Shakespearean revivals have been wonderful, the personal to really revitalize the genre was Mr. Baz Luhrmann himself, who gave us 1996’s masterpiece Romeo + Juliet.
Juxtaposing modernity with the antiquated text, Baz brought Radiohead and Garbage to Verona and crafted a fierce take on the classic tragedy that was as aesthetically stunning as it was emotionally potent. So with his adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby waltzing into theaters this week, Baz has revealed to THR that he would like to next tackle his own version of Hamlet—starring his Romeo, his Gatsby, Leonardo DiCaprio. Be still my heart.
"To me, Gatsby is the American Hamlet. What else could we possibly do as a follow-up?" said Baz, although "i’s just a dream at this point." But as we all know, Leo’s performance as Romeo was one of the best he’s ever delivered—the third act of that film worthy of a closet full of Oscars alone. So with all hope this is a film that will actually come about. In the meantime, let’s watch some behind-the-scenes footage from Romeo + Juliet.
Last week I expressed how I have finally come around to admitting my excitement for Baz Luhrmann’s grandiose adaptation of The Great Gatsby. And with all his films, it’s not only these opulent and lavish worlds he creates but the massive performances he evokes from his actors. For all of his work as an actor over the last twenty years, there have been few greater moments in Leonardo DiCaprio’s career than when he’s collapsed down on his knees in Mantua screaming, "I defy you stars!" or weeping beside Juliet in her candle-covered casket in Romeo + Juliet. The same goes for Ewan McGregor as the love-obsessed penniless and writer turned tortured and broken lover in Moulin Rouge as he walks the darkened Paris streets belting "Roxanne."
And with a new UK trailer for Gatsby we get a taste of the highly-theatrical and grand performances from Carey Mulligan, Leo, and cast who make up the ensemble based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s beloved novel. Also today, there’s a batch of new behind-the-scenes stills to feast your eyes on and anticipate its release next month. enjoy.
I really just do not know what to make of Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby anymore. I am having some trouble gauging what emotions I may or may not be feeling. When I first heard buzz about the film a couple years ago, I was so enchanted with the idea that I dreamt the trailer—twice. It looked sort of like a Toulouse Lautrec painting through a Nicolas Roeg hazy chandelier sparkling lense. And then, upon seeing the actual trailer, I fell into a bit of a fury.
But then, you know, I remembered the first time I saw Moulin Rouge in the theatre as kid and how opulent and grandiose it all was. I remembered how that was the first time a movie—save Titanic—had ever really made me cry, that mix of vulnerability and awe completely new. So then I was like, okay Baz, you devil, you can do whatever you want. But my unnecessary feelings aside, it’s pretty tough to determine just how the actual film will unfold. Yes, we know for sure that this will be something massvie with stunning production and design on a grand scale that heightens F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary word into that of a garish dream, but what about the meat of it? Baz likes to tell stories through specific lenses—Strictly Ballroom told through dance, Romeo + Juliet juztaxposing modernity with Shakespeare’s world, Moulin Rouge as a tragedy told through song, and with Gatsby he looks to bathe us in the decadence of the 1920s, telling Fitzgerald’s tale through the glimmer of a champage glass as the undercurrent of tension and emotion slyly bubbles to the surface.
And now that the film has been announced to open Cannes and multiple trailers have been released, two new TV Spots have be revealed, giving us another look into the Leo DiCaprio-led world. Take a look below.
I mean, sure, when I think of the roaring ’20s, my mind immediately conjures up flappers, jazz, and Jay-Z. Thankfully, Baz Luhrmann is always around to put my fever dreams into celluloid, as his big-budget 3D remake of The Great Gatsby will feature a soundtrack supervised by the rapper.
The film’s trailer, which was first released in May (back when we all thought this thing was coming out this Christmas rather than next summer), featured "No Church In The Wild," Jay’s collaboration with Kanye West (and Frank Ocean) from last summer’s Watch the Throne. We should have known that Brooklyn’s own connoisseur of all things opulent would play a heavier hand in the film itself, as The Sun reported yesterday.
Does this mean we can expect a Beyoncé cameo, perhaps performing her cover of Des’ree’s “Kissing You,” which originated in Luhrmann’s 1998 Romeo + Juliet? Let’s hope so!
Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.