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What’s Left to Say? Four Fitzgerald Scholars on Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby – LA Times

A note on the LA Times piece concerning the latest Gatsby film. I couldn’t disagree more with the following commentary, though it is well said nonetheless:

“The film’s aesthetic has annoyed many viewers, but it’s strangely liberating to watch an adaptation of Gatsby that encourages its audience to think about the future as much as the past. It often seems that Luhrmann doesn’t especially care for these characters from 1922, and instead wants to showcase the trends and forces and dynamics that this long-gone generation would set in motion for decades to come. When the jazz vanishes from the Jazz Age and gets replaced by hip-hop, for example, there’s a glitch but also harmony, a reminder that the former would eventually lead to the latter.”

As a fan of film, and the Fitzgerald masterpiece, I found the inclusion of 21st century HIP HOP to be not only misplaced but actually offensive. Why? Because for me it ruined the tone of the film and removed me from the setting entirely. It made me laugh and groan, and the dream was lost.  No longer was I watching a recreation of a great novel, I was watching the director’s vision of his own novel. The music of that age was innovative and energetic, and the director had many options. To choose modern HIP HOP is tantamount to claiming HIP HOP is superior and will be better received by audiences regardless of how uttterly inappropriate it is for a film about 1922.

And then, there’s Toby … argh.

Moving on.

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