H231 – Australian Cinema
Internal Assignment 2: Critical Review and Bibliography

Moulin Rouge! (2001) Baz Luhrmann
Part 1: Film Information

Cast (Lead Actors Only)
Nicole Kidman - Satine, The Sparkling Diamond
Ewan McGregor - Christian
Jim Broadbent - Harold Zidler
John Leguizamo - Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa
Richard Roxburgh - The Duke of Monroth
Kylie Minogue - The Green Fairy
Ozzy Osbourne - Green Fairy Vocal Effects
Jacek Koman - The Argentinian
Caroline O'Connor - Nini Legs in the Air
Matthew Whittet - Satie
Kerry Walker - Marie
Garry McDonald (I) - Doctor
Christine Anu - Arabia
Natalie Jackson Mendoza - China Doll
Lara Mulcahy - Môme Fromage
David Wenham - Audrey

Crew (Principal Crew Only)
Directed by - Baz Luhrmann
Written by - Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce
Cinematography by - Donald McAlpine
Film Editing by - Jill Bilcock
Casting by - Ronna Kress
Production Design by - Catherine Martin (I)
Art Direction by - Ann-Marie Beauchamp
Set Decoration by - Brigitte Broch
Costume Design by - Catherine Martin (I) & Angus Strathie
Production Management;
Unit Manager - Tic Carroll
Production Manager - Catherine Knapman

Company Credits
· Bazmark Films
· 20th Century Fox Film Corporation [us]
· 20th Century Fox de Argentina [ar] (Argentina)
· 20th Century Fox of Germany [de] (Germany)
· Gemini Kinomir [ru]

Release Dates
France (Cannes) 9 May 2001
USA (Premiere) 16 May 2001
USA (New York & Los Angelas) 18 May 2001
Australia 24 May 2001
New Zealand 31 May 2001
USA (General Release) 1 June 2001

Box Office Figures
$52.5m (USA)
Opening Weekend
AUD 3,739,000 (Australia) (27 May 2001) (252 screens)
£2.403m (UK) (9 September 2001) (284 screens)
$71,614 (USA) (25 November 2001) (51 screens)
$167,540 (USA) (20 May 2001) (2 screens)
AUD 27,387,000 (Australia) (4 December 2001)
SGD 1,200,000 (Singapore)
£17.934m (UK) (25 November 2001)
£17.769m (UK) (18 November 2001)
£17.455m (UK) (11 November 2001)
£17.047m (UK) (4 November 2001)
£16.381m (UK) (28 October 2001)
£15.321m (UK) (21 October 2001)
£14.024m (UK) (14 October 2001)
£12.494m (UK) (7 October 2001)
£10.636m (UK) (30 September 2001)
£8.366m (UK) (23 September 2001)
£5.668m (UK) (16 September 2001)
£2.403m (UK) (9 September 2001)
$57.386m (USA) (21 April 2002)
$57.384m (USA) (14 April 2002)
$57.377m (USA) (7 April 2002)
$57.367m (USA) (31 March 2002)
$57.346m (USA) (24 March 2002)
$57.313m (USA) (17 March 2002)
$57.276m (USA) (10 March 2002)
$57.252m (USA) (3 March 2002)
$57.218m (USA) (24 February 2002)
$57.185m (USA) (17 February 2002)
$57.165m (USA) (10 February 2002)
$57.153m (USA) (3 February 2002)
$57.135m (USA) (27 January 2002)
$57.108m (USA) (20 January 2002)
$57.087m (USA) (13 January 2002)
$57.065m (USA) (6 January 2002)
$57.044m (USA) (30 December 2001)
$57.012m (USA) (23 December 2001)
$56.987m (USA) (16 December 2001)
$56.951m (USA) (9 December 2001)
$56.908m (USA) (2 December 2001)
$56.837m (USA) (25 November 2001)
$56.741m (USA) (18 November 2001)
$56.733m (USA) (11 November 2001)
$56.717m (USA) (4 November 2001)
$56.705m (USA) (28 October 2001)
$56.689m (USA) (21 October 2001)
$56.663m (USA) (14 October 2001)
$56.628m (USA) (7 October 2001)
$56.578m (USA) (30 September 2001)
$56.495m (USA) (23 September 2001)
$56.384m (USA) (16 September 2001)
$56.256m (USA) (9 September 2001)
$56.088m (USA) (2 September 2001)
$55.771m (USA) (26 August 2001)
$55.5m (USA) (19 August 2001)
$55.093m (USA) (12 August 2001)
$54.611m (USA) (5 August 2001)
$54.029m (USA) (29 July 2001)
$53.345m (USA) (22 July 2001)
$52.467m (USA) (15 July 2001)
$50.951m (USA) (8 July 2001)
$48.023m (USA) (1 July 2001)
$43.433m (USA) (24 June 2001)
$36.629m (USA) (17 June 2001)
$27.569m (USA) (10 June 2001)
$14.394m (USA) (3 June 2001)
$582,122 (USA) (27 May 2001)
$167,540 (USA) (20 May 2001)
Weekend Gross
£74,201 (UK) (25 November 2001) (95 screens)
£121,590 (UK) (18 November 2001) (141 screens)
£175,302 (UK) (11 November 2001) (264 screens)
£318,880 (UK) (4 November 2001) (261 screens)
£472,809 (UK) (28 October 2001) (333 screens)
£690,219 (UK) (21 October 2001) (370 screens)
£864,326 (UK) (14 October 2001) (393 screens)
£1.072m (UK) (7 October 2001) (397 screens)
£1.337m (UK) (30 September 2001) (365 screens)
£1.533m (UK) (23 September 2001) (340 screens)
£1.859m (UK) (16 September 2001) (314 screens)
£2.403m (UK) (9 September 2001) (284 screens)
$1,477 (USA) (21 April 2002) (4 screens)
$3,618 (USA) (14 April 2002) (10 screens)
$5,284 (USA) (7 April 2002) (6 screens)
$8,959 (USA) (31 March 2002) (11 screens)
$21,797 (USA) (24 March 2002) (16 screens)
$29,332 (USA) (17 March 2002) (21 screens)
$15,651 (USA) (10 March 2002) (11 screens)
$19,935 (USA) (3 March 2002) (23 screens)
$28,811 (USA) (24 February 2002) (57 screens)
$15,241 (USA) (17 February 2002) (11 screens)
$7,640 (USA) (10 February 2002) (11 screens)
$9,425 (USA) (3 February 2002) (11 screens)
$19,500 (USA) (27 January 2002) (20 screens)
$16,188 (USA) (20 January 2002) (13 screens)
$15,194 (USA) (13 January 2002) (13 screens)
$14,660 (USA) (6 January 2002) (10 screens)
$26,760 (USA) (30 December 2001) (8 screens)
$13,817 (USA) (23 December 2001) (12 screens)
$21,397 (USA) (16 December 2001) (22 screens)
$24,649 (USA) (9 December 2001) (19 screens)
$42,696 (USA) (2 December 2001) (24 screens)
$71,614 (USA) (25 November 2001) (51 screens)
$3,873 (USA) (18 November 2001) (7 screens)
$8,088 (USA) (11 November 2001) (11 screens)
$7,560 (USA) (4 November 2001) (13 screens)
$7,464 (USA) (28 October 2001) (11 screens)
$15,009 (USA) (21 October 2001) (15 screens)
$19,412 (USA) (14 October 2001) (21 screens)
$27,875 (USA) (7 October 2001) (31 screens)
$44,003 (USA) (30 September 2001) (58 screens)
$70,418 (USA) (23 September 2001) (75 screens)
$88,026 (USA) (16 September 2001) (98 screens)
$110,782 (USA) (9 September 2001) (122 screens)
$226,143 (USA) (2 September 2001) (154 screens)
$128,480 (USA) (26 August 2001) (173 screens)
$202,765 (USA) (19 August 2001) (250 screens)
$258,718 (USA) (12 August 2001) (312 screens)
$307,113 (USA) (5 August 2001) (291 screens)
$363,755 (USA) (29 July 2001) (356 screens)
$410,387 (USA) (22 July 2001) (379 screens)
$753,303 (USA) (15 July 2001) (492 screens)
$1.352m (USA) (8 July 2001) (648 screens)
$2.447m (USA) (1 July 2001) (1271 screens)
$3.851m (USA) (24 June 2001) (1585 screens)
$5.03m (USA) (17 June 2001) (2,084 screens)
$7.649m (USA) (10 June 2001) (2283 screens)
$13.718m (USA) (3 June 2001) (2279 screens)
$264,570 (USA) (27 May 2001) (2 screens)
$167,540 (USA) (20 May 2001) (2 screens)
588,623 (Brazil) (30 September 2001)
571,321 (Brazil) (23 September 2001)
536,335 (Brazil) (16 September 2001)
468,251 (Brazil) (9 September 2001)
324,048 (Brazil) (2 September 2001)
150,983 (Brazil) (26 August 2001) (opening week)
1,326,927 (France) (26 March 2002)
446,712 (France) (9 October 2001)
1,252,435 (Germany) (31 December 2001)
186,921 (Germany) (25 November 2001)
1,011,824 (Germany) (11 November 2001)
851,718 (Germany) (4 November 2001)
575,739 (Germany) (28 October 2001)
1,556,176 (Spain) (31 December 2001)
341,976 (Sweden) (31 December 2001)
4,199,196 (UK) (31 December 2001)

Reviews of the film Moulin Rouge! can be found at the following links.

1. Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
2. Guardian/Observer
3. James Berardinelli's ReelViews
4. Slate [David Edelstein]
5. BBCi - Films
6. BBCi - Films (DVD review)
7. Sight and Sound (UK)
8. Los Angeles Times [Kenneth Turan]
9. Jam! Movies [Bruce Kirkland]
10. San Francisco Examiner [Joe Leydon]
11. eye WEEKLY [Catharine Tunnacliffe]
12. eye WEEKLY [Catharine Tunnacliffe]
13. New York Times (registration req'd)
14. Rolling Stone
15. Salon.com [Stephanie Zacharek]
16. San Francisco Chronicle [Edward Guthmann]
17. San Francisco Chronicle [Edward Guthmann]
18. Evening Standard - Hot Tickets
19. USA Today [Mike Clark]
20. Washington Post [Desson Howe]
21. Washington Post [Rita Kempley]
22. PopMatters
23. Screen It! (spoilers)
24. Tiscali UK
25. filmfacts (german)
26. American Dreamer
27. Ananova
28. Apollo Movie Guide - Review, links, cast info.
29. The Onion A.V. Club
30. Crazy for Cinema
31. DigsMagazine.com [Y. Sun]
32. eFilmCritic Reviews
33. Epinions.com (Andrew Howe)
34. Filethirteen Review
35. Film.com [Peter Brunette]
36. filmcritic.com enters the Moulin Rouge
37. FilmHead.com
38. Film Written Magazine (Andrew Howe)
39. Film Written Magazine (Andrew Chan)
40. Film Written Magazine (Jaime N. Christley)
41. Flipside Movie Emporium
42. The Weekly Movie Review
43. Critical Eye
44. Dan Ray, Epinions.com
45. Alex Jackson, Epinions.com
46. JoBlo's Movie Emporium reviews "Moulin Rouge"
47. La Movie Boeuf [David N. Butterworth]
48. Review at Movie Geek Central
49. MOVIE VIEWS by Jamey Hughton -- movieviews.org
50. OutNow!
51. Popkorn Junkie's review of Moulin Rouge
52. Psychovant's Rave on Moulin Rouge's can-can ways
53. Reviews On The Side by Steve Lekowicz
54. About.com's Romantic Movies
55. Mainly Movies @ Epinions: Moulin Rouge!
56. Slant Magazine (DVD Review)
57. NCSU Technician [Joel Frady]
58. 201 Words-or-Less Film Review
59. Triviana Reviews [Tom Magan] (with images)
60. The Tech (MIT) [Fred Choi]
61. 030-Kino.de Review (German)
62. The Snack Bar [Adam J. Hakari]
63. Anchorage Press [Brenda Sokolowski]
64. Dave's Other Movie Log Review
65. Guenter H. Jekubzik @FILMtabs (German)
66. The BigScreen Cinema Guide - Reader Reviews
67. The Self-Made Critic
68. Michael Elliott - Movie Parables
69. Moving Pictures @ C I N 3 M A
70. Cineismo.com - (Spanish)
71. David Perry's Xiibaro Reviews: Moulin Rouge
72. Cinema em Cena (em Português)
73. CinemaZone.dk (Danish)
74. CinemaZone.dk (Danish)
75. CinemaZone.dk (Danish)
76. City Guide Cologne
77. CultureDose.com [John Nesbit]
78. culturevulture.net
79. Linear Reflections -
80. DVD Movie Guide
81. DVD Verdict
82. Entertainment Ave! - The Movie Theater
83. Epinions review
84. Ewan McGregor is Prince Charming in Moulin Rouge
85. Epinions Review For Moulin Rouge, By Dan Ray
86. Epinions review by Christopher J. Jarmick co-author of The Glass Cocoon
87. Mellkinwa@epinions Review
88. roymeo's review - Moulin Rouge: The Spectacular Spectacular
89. Soundtrack Review by Toby Baldwin
90. Epinions.com [Eric-Robinson Lowe]
91. Epinions.com review [Marc G. Eastman]
92. Exclaim!
93. Entertainment Zone Review
94. The Film Desk (James Kendrick)
95. Film Quips by John R. McEwen
96. Filmspiegel (german)
97. FishEye : Movie reviews without the boring bits (Hebrew)
98. Flak Magazine
99. The Flick Filosopher's take
100. Mike and Melanie's Movie Review Planet
101. Mike and Melanie's Movie Review Planet
102. Mike McGranaghan (Gamut! Magazine)
103. Wesley Lovell - The Oscar Guy
104. Political Film Review
105. Haro Online
106. Hollywood Jesus Visual Reviews
107. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
108. iofilm.co.uk DVD Review
109. iofilm.co.uk
110. Jigsaw Lounge (Neil Young): "cobalts! rubies!! sapphires!!!"
111. kenrosenberg.com Review
112. LeisureSuit Media
113. The Mag review (**1/2) of "Moulin Rouge" [Jon Niccum]
114. LowComDom Online Film Reviews
115. Sidekick Magazine
116. Movie-Page.com review
117. Movie Vault [mazzyboi]
118. Movie Vault [Paul Twomey]
119. MovieJuice coucher's avec moi with Moulin Rouge
120. Movieman's Guide to the Movies
121. moviemaster.de (German)
122. Movie Mom's review
123. Needcoffee.com - DVD Review
124. Nick Davis' Movie Archives (Review)
125. Nitrate Online (Carrie Gorringe)
126. NZZ Online - Neue Zürcher Zeitung (German)
127. Movie Ram-blings
128. Reel.com DVD review [James Plath]
129. Reel.com [Robert Payne]
130. Reel Criticism
131. Reel Movie Critic - [George Singleton]
132. Relax-review (Hungarian)
133. At-A-Glance Film Reviews
134. Rotten Tomatoes - Reviews from the Nation's Top Critics
135. Shadows on the Wall by Rich Cline
136. Slant Magazine
137. The Thing Is
138. TheWorldJournal.com
139. The Phantom TollBooth
140. "uncompromisingly bonkers..." - The Horse
141. Ultimate Movies! Review
142. Urban Cinefile (Australia)
143. Urban Cinefile (Australia) DVD Review
144. WHSmith.co.uk review
145. John Nesbit review
146. Zap2it.com

Online Presence
The official Moulin Rouge! Website is located at:


From what was seen, the webpage was very flashy and extensive, but unfortunately every time I attempted to access it, my screen filled with pop-ups and then my computer crashed.

Other Moulin Rouge! Information can be found at the following links:

147. IGN More Movies - articles
148. BBC News - Film
149. About's Romantic Movies-Moulin Rouge Page
150. Upcomingmovies.com: Moulin Rouge
151. 2 Official Sites : french, english.
152. Los Angeles Times preview feature on Bazmark Anthony Luhrmann
153. CineMAYHEM: Moulin Rouge
154. Countingdown.com
155. DVDwolf
156. Fetal Film Report - Moulin Rouge
157. LaButaca.net - Estrenos y crítica de cine
158. Hollywood Teen Movies
159. Le Moulin Rouge, Paris, France
160. Movie Mania - Moulin Rouge
161. MovieMeter -- Moulin Rouge! (Dutch)
162. persuasia.com Fan site - gallery, articles
163. Moulin Rouge location pictures and news from Australia
164. Rotten Tomatoes - Articles, Synopsis, Multimedia, and Forum
165. Directory site with information and multimedia content.
166. tv-now.com - Review and commentary
167. Uncut (German)
168. Urban Cinefile (Australia) - Australia at Cannes 2001
169. Urban Cinefile (Australia) - John Leguizamo interview
170. Urban Cinefile (Australia) - interview with Nicole Kidman
171. Urban Cinefile (Australia) - Nicole Kidman Interview May 2001
172. Urban Cinefile (Australia) Feature
173. Urban Cinefile (Australia) Animal Logic - Virtual Reality
174. Urban Cinefile (Australia) When Bollywood Met Hollywood
175. www.zelluloid.de infos: Moulin Rouge

Where This Information Came From
A great deal of the information concerning the technical aspects of the film was found on the Moulin Rouge! DVD Special Edition. The statistical details and some reviews and interviews were found on the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com). Other information was gained through scouring the net via search engines such as Webcrawler (www.webcrawler.com) and Jeeves (www.ask.com).

Part 2 Critical Review of Film and its Literature

Critical Review
The film Moulin Rouge! revolves around events based in the Moulin Rouge dance hall towards the end of the 19th century. The story is told by Christian, an English poet who falls in love with the courtesan Satine, a dancer at the Moulin Rouge. They are forced to keep their love a secret from the Duke who has invested in Christian's play and has also fallen in love with Satine.

The film starts in 1900, with Christian (Ewan McGregor) sitting in his garret, located across the street from the now abandoned Moulin Rouge nightclub. He sits at his typewriter and begins to tell the story of is experiences in Paris, and how he came to love and lose Satine.
His journey starts with is arrival in Paris and Montmatre, dubbed the 'Village of Sin'. His intent is to join the bohemian revolution and to write about truth, freedom, beauty and love. The only problem, as far as he could see, was that he'd never been in love. Fortunately, at that moment, an unconscious Argentian fell through his roof, and was quickly followed by a dwarf dressed as a nun. The nun introduces himself as Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec Monfa (John Leguizamo) and invites Christian to assist them with the bohemian play they're working on.
The bohemians (Toulouse, the Argentian, Satie and the Doctor) are so impressed with Christian's writing they offer him the job of writing their play. But first they have to present it to the Zidler (Jim Broadbent), the owner of the Moulin Rouge, and his leading lady, Satine (Nicole Kidman) so that they can sell the idea to the financier. The bohemians dress Christian in their best clothes and head down the Moulin Rouge.
It isn't long before Christian finds himself caught up in the whirlwind world of the dance hall, and it isn't long before he finds himself in Satine's private room (which happens to be inside and elephant, but that's irrelevant). The only problem is that Satine has mistaken Christian for the Duke (Richard Roxburgh), the man she was supposed to seduce in order to have him invest in the play. As a result of her advances, Christian falls in love with her.
When the real duke arrives, Christian, Satine, Toulouse, Zidler and the other bohemians improvise a pitch and convince him to invest in their play 'Spectacular, Spectacular'. Later that night, Christian returns to the elephant to express his feelings to Satine. Although she resists at first, she eventually returns his love.
However, the Duke has also fallen in love with Satine. His conditions in the investment contract are the deeds to the Moulin Rouge, and a personal contract that binds Satine to exclusively to him. Zidler, having bankrupted the Moulin Rouge through his obsession with electrifying the club, has no choice but to accept the terms. Zidler then has the means to transform his beloved Moulin Rouge into a theatre.
At first Christian and Satine have little trouble keeping their live secret, making excuses to avoid the Duke. As time goes on however, the Duke becomes impatient with her lack of attention. After being discovered by Zidler, it becomes common throughout the bohemians and the dancers that Christian and Satine are having an affair. Zidler warns Satine that if the Duke learns of their affair he could close the Moulin Rouge down. Christian then writes a song that, when sung, will represent his and Satine's love.
Coming up to the opening night, the Duke learns of the affair when he realises that the plays characters are based on Christian, Satine and himself. He demands that the ending is changed and that Satine spends the night with him. After her dinner with the Duke, Satine sees Christian leaving the Moulin Rouge from the balcony. The Duke sees this and realises that she loves Christian more then him. He becomes angry and attacks Satine, only to be knocked out by one of Zidler's dancers, Chocolate.
Satine flees to Christian's garret and tells him what happened. He instructs her to return to the club to collect her belongings, and then they'd run away together. Upon returning to her dressing room, Satine is confronted by Zidler who tells her that she is dying, and if she leaves, the Duke will close down the club. On top of this, if Christian comes near her again, the Duke will have him killed. Satine has no choice but to tell Christian that's she has chosen to stay with the Duke.
Broken hearted, Christian sneaks into the Moulin Rouge during the opening night of Spectacular, Spectacular. He finds a Satine and is forced onto stage wit her. Before the Duke orders his manservant to kill him, Christian declares that he's leaving, convinced that Satine had lied about her love. He throws a wad of cash at he feet and goes to leave.
As he reaches the door, Satine begins to sing the song that he had written for them. This convinces Christian that she did love him after all and he returns to the stage and the two lovers a reunited. The Duke seizes his servant's gun and moves to shoot Christian, but is attacked by Zidler. The Duke leaves the Moulin Rouge. Backstage, Christian is overjoyed with the return of his love, but, as fate would have it, she collapses and dies in his arms.

My Own View of the Film
Pretty simple really. I was in love with this film from the moment the red curtains parted. I was a little wary, my only previous knowledge of the film had come from Entertainment Tonight where they kept referring to it as 'Nicole's Moulin Rouge' as though the director doesn't exist (and they say America makes to big a deal of their stars…). My hopes were lifted a little by Harry Knowles review of the film (available at his website www.aintitcoolnews.com) where he claimed to have an irresistible urge to run the front of the theatre and make love to the screen. A disturbing notion, I know, but his reviews are respected among the film nerd community.
Musicals don't get made often enough these days. Sedating my desire for spontaneous dancing in the street with South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and a friend and I occasionally taking to the streets ourselves (we've left many a stunned check out chick in out wake) wasn't working anymore. Fortunately Moulin Rouge! exceeded all expectations by combining well known songs with the pace and action evident in the opening of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.
Although I didn't originally see the film as an Australian film, mainly due to the fact Luhrmann's last film had been made in the states, by the time I had seen it for the 6th time (and this was before I bought the DVD) the Oscar nominations had been announced. I feel that Moulin Rouge! proves to the world that Australia is more than capable of producing big budget box office smashes that garner just as much attention overseas as it does in its home country. It also proves that Australian films don't have to be completely soaked in wide panning shots of the outback and snippets of wombats.

Critical Response to Film
At the time of release Moulin Rouge! was simultaneously attacked and praised by the critics. Like with Romeo + Juliet the some critics feel like it is an overly lavish blur of colour and sound that does little but jar and confuse the audience. Most critics, however, allowed themselves to be caught up in the experience of the film, which is what director Luhrmann had intended. Despite what they thought of the overall effect of the film, all critics agree that the pace and detail in the film are fitting for what Luhrmann had intended to achieve.
Now that some time has passed, the DVD and video release brought a fresh wave of reviews. Although there is still a rift, but more seem to agree that this fresh faced musical is worth its weight in box office takings (see above for how much money this film made. In detail.). It properly has more to do with the fact that Moulin Rouge! had been given a sniff of the Oscar statuette, but most critics seem to have changed their opinion. Australian Empire Magazine sums it up with 'love it or hate it, you can't sit though it and not have a reaction'.

Production and Release
In terms of production, Moulin Rouge! was a rarity among studio features. It is shot completely in studios, without a single set on location or even in the sunlight. The entire set was constricted in the sound stages of Fox Sydney, giving Luhrmann the freedom to bring his image completely to life. He was able to create the Moulin Rouge nightclub exactly as he saw it.
This kind of production created a great deal of publicity for the film prior to its release. Being filmed in Sydney meant that the Australian media took a great deal of interest in it. The rumours began to fly quickly, starting of the simple and general ie: McGregor and Kidman and having a sordid affair. When details of the film emerged the rumours became more realistic and featured a song by shock rocker Marilyn Manson and Kylie Minogue's character of The Green Fairy was to be a narrator because the plot was so confusing. The speculation was running thick and fast and Empire Magazine likened it to an Australian Blair Witch Project.
Despite this, the launch of the film was successful. Of course the launch was to an audience of 250 in Luhrmann's home town of Taree, where the tickets were sold in a pharmacy. The film then took the short step from Taree to Cannes, where it continued to blow audiences away.

Where Does It Fit With Luhrmann's Other Work?
If the audience is familiar with Bazmark 'Baz' Luhrmann's previous and subsequent work then it is easy for them to see the similarities between the films. Luhrmann considers Moulin Rouge! to be the third part of what he calls his "Red Curtain Trilogy'. Moulin Rouge!, alongside Strictly Ballroom (1992) and William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996), form part of a series which Luhrmann uses to express emotional not with the narrative but with another aspect of the film. In the case of Strictly Ballroom the emotion was expressed through the dance, Romeo + Juliet was the language and Moulin Rouge! through the songs.
These three films establish Luhrmann as an evolutionary filmmaker, bringing his unique style from the world of theatre to the screen, hence the red curtain that he associates his films with and bookends Moulin Rouge! It is entirely possible that sometime in the next few years we will see movies that are described by the critics as being reminiscent of Luhrmann's style, especially now that Moulin Rouge! has achieved such international acclaim.
As more the relation between Moulin Rouge! and Luhrmann's subsequent films, that is yet to be seen. This is due to the fact that there hasn't yet been any subsequent films. All I can say is that he is currently working on Rent, due for release next year and one day will work on L'amore, the name of which has appeared in all of his films to date.

What Does This Film Tell Us about the General Position Of Australian Film and its Value
Moulin Rouge! doesn't come across as a typical Australian film. Most films made by Australians in Australia are usually about just that: Australia. The proportion of Australian films is drenched in Australian culture, featuring over the top stereotypes, such as Mick 'Crocodile' Dundee, and set in the outback. It's hard to find a typical Australian film that doesn't feature wide panning shots of the desert. Even films that are less than typical, such as Mad Max have a certain 'Australian' feel to them.
The story of Moulin Rouge! has got nothing to so with Australian, being set in France, and none of the characters are Australian. In terms of narrative, the film couldn't be further from Australia. Although the director, the majority of the cast and the crew are Australian, anything outside the production side of the film is quite Un-Australian. Even the style of Luhrmann's is unique, bearing no resemblance to the styles used by any other filmmaker, in Australia or any other place.
This shows that Australian filmmakers are capable of making films that appeal to a wider audience, which is something that hadn't been achieved to great extent in the Eighties. With the new interest in the Australian film industry coming from overseas this can be seen as a good thing, it shows that money by Hollywood in Australia won't just stay in Australia. The record umber of Australians who received Oscar nominations at the latest Academy Awards shows that the Australian film industry are more than capable of competing in an international market.


The Internet Movie Database, www.imdb.com, accessed daily

Ain't It Cool News, www.aintitcoolnews.com, accessed daily

Urban Cinefile, www.urbancinefile.com.au, accessed daily

O'Regan, Tom, Beyond 'Australian Film'? Australian cinema in the 1990's, taken from Unit Reader


Moulin Rouge! (2001) Dir: Baz Luhrmann
Including features available on the DVD, plus the commentaries by the crew.

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996) Dir: Baz Luhrmann

Strictly Ballroom (1992) Dir: Baz Luhrmann