Sunday, May 5, 2013

souls of different ages

After finishing Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet towards the end of my freshman year of high school, my English teacher showed us scenes from both Zeffirelli and Luhrmann's film adaptions of the play. We took a survey afterwards on which adaption we liked better, and I was surprised to find myself as one of the few who chose Lurhmann's R+J over the by-the-book Zeffirelli movie. Seriously though, I loved Luhrmann's fresh approach to one of the oldest and most famous tales in the Western canon: the California beaches! Claire's white angel dress and Leo's suit of armor! that cathedral! the guns! the pop soundtrack! I could go on forever about all the good things in that movie.

So when I found out that Baz Luhrmann was doing an adaption to F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby, I was beyond excited. Everything—from Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan (loved her in An Education and Never Let Me Go) to the Moët and Chandon champagne bubbles—evokes a new, more decadent, more splendid, and more colorful Jazz Age in the mind's eye. That's what a good film adaption should do, after all: it should transcend and create a new soul for an age-old story.

I'm currently reading Fitzgerald's last complete novel, Tender is the Night, as part of my author study paper for English Literature this year, and I can't help but to think that people don't really write books like that anymore. There's a certain lyricism in Fitzgerald's prose that's beautiful and tragic and reflective of his protagonists themselves: even though Amory and Anthony and Gatsby and Rosemary's lives are filled to the brim with extravagance and luxury, there's that pervasive sense of sadness and discontent. It's the transience of life, after all; my favorite scene in The Beautiful and the Damned is when Maury delivers a speech about the meaninglessness of his life and the lives that they all led.

Anyways, my first AP exam of the two week testing period is this Thursday (English Language and Literature, ironically enough), so I should get back to studying. I probably won't be posting any new posts until after exams are over, but I'll be sure to get back to your comments as soon as possible!

xoxo, vivian


  1. love this! would you like to follow each other in gfc and bloglovin? let me know!

  2. I seriously get goosebumps every time i see a commercial for his movie, it looks just so BEAUTIFUL. it's like every scene is a visual masterpiece, every moment is a chance to show that glamour that daisy and gatsby are so used to. I literally can't wait to go see this!! Ugh and Carrie Mulligan. Ultimate. Girl. Crush. The woman can do no wrong

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  8. I couldn't agree with you more. People definitely do not write books like that anymore. There a few things that are better than getting lost in classic literature. Great post! Now following you! Check out my blog too if you get a chance :)

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  11. this film is amazing! :) love this post :)
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  12. I absolutely hated the film, and that has to do with Baz Luhrman's direction. The acting made me cringe, the shots were edited poorly, and the symbolism were exaggerated at all the wrong points. He tried to recreate what he did with Moulin Rouge, and it didn't work for me, personally. I couldn't wait till the movie ended so I could go home and read the novel that I once fell in love with. But Leo is effing hot haha.


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