I’d say we found Penny’s OTP
it’s tough hating something you rely on so heavily
i’m basically “pro-do whatever you want as long as you’re enjoying yourself and not hurting other people”
38-43/100 The Great Gatsby Caps
saw the Gatsby film last night having read the book for the first time.
the film is merely an attempt to recreate the experience of reading the book, to the extent that sometimes you will have the words literally floating on screen in crusty typewriter font. i always thought that while a book tells a story a film is meant to show that story. that’s what all the screen-writing manuals tell you anyway. it certainly does this film no favours to have Toby Maguire clumsily reciting extracts from Fitzgerald’s original at every turn. for instance, we all remember this:“I thought you knew, old sport. I’m afraid I’m not a very good host.”
He smiled understandingly - much more than understandingly. It was one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal re-assurance in it, that you come across four or five times in life.this is ravishing prose but when that scene arrives in Luhrmann’s adaptation Leonardo DiCaprio (very competently) raises his glasses and blesses Nick with that special smile and we hear Maguire reading out it’s description in the book in a stilted hammy fashion. that moment is supposed to be a very subtle moment. only in a book can you spend so long dwelling on someone’s expression. in a film we are meant to see the expression and draw our own conclusions.i mention that scene in such detail because this sort of thing happens an awful lot throughout the film.also, there’s this whole wraparound flash-forward where Carraway is a recovering alcoholic telling some doctor the whole story. just a really pointless allusion to the fact that it is based on a book yet a departure from the structure of the actual book. such scenes seem to come at the expense of any depiction of Gatsby’s father towards the end. whilst reading the book i felt that those scenes were the most cinematic so i was disappointed to see them omitted in the film.the music is brilliant but totally incongruous. were i not such a devotee of Jay-Z i might have more easily seen this coming when i first heard about the soundtrack.and 3D is not appropriate for any feature film. i can imagine it being a worthwhile medium for certain pieces of video art but it’s far too distracting if one is attempting to communicate a narrative. also, 3D is not actually 3D. if you move your head left and right in the presence of any 3D object you will see more or less of it’s sides and what is behind it. in 3D cinema this is not the case thus it is merely an optical illusion contrived to combat piracy and push up ticket prices. bring on hologram Tupac!many would argue that Gatsby is a universal tale of decadence and shallow artificiality and that 3D and hip-hop bring this out further. there were moments when i half-believed this but then i realised that putting jazz trombone over some Flux Pavilion doesn’t make it any more authentic and just shows the dangers one inevitably faces when trying very ostentatiously to make an old classic appeal to younger generations.
Ok this is a nice explanation as to why some people didn’t really like Gatsby that much. I saw it with about a dozen people who I studied it with at college and we all absolutely adored it so I have kind of been confused by the sub-par reviews.
Reasons why the flaws you pointed out didn’t bother me:
Gatsby’s smile is a re-occurring idea and when Nick first mentions it, he mentions it for EIGHT LINES, as far as I’m concerned we were meant to notice that.
I feel the greatest parts of TGG are Fitzgerald’s beautiful descriptions that are quoted so often so I thought it made total sense keeping them in (some of my friends were quote along into my ear).
A big aspect when studying TGG is the fact that Nick is an unreliable narrator who is aware of his position as a narrator. By presenting him as a recovering mental patient/alcoholic/whatever who was really really damaged by the events in New York I think it both explains the unreliability while still making him a character you can empathise with and of course gives a nice excuse for all those lovely quotes.
Luhrmann’s style is very stylised and distinctive so I understand why it’s often a love-hate thing and I suppose the music and 3D plays into that. The sound motifs I thought were really great (who noticed the Green Light’s music combining with The XX’s song? superb) and brought attention to the fact that this is a very MODERN book and film. I am personally a huge Luhrmann fan and a huge Fitzgerald fan so I am totally bias but I really loved this film adaption because it was so true to the novel.
Ok those were my Gatsby thoughts that I needed to get out there somehow sorry for doing it on your post.
"I wish I had done everything on Earth with you."
Well, well, maybe Richard Brooke was just a good actor after all.
euglassia watsonia. she’s just as unique as you are