Gatsby the Great

posted by Jory on Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Happy Wednesday, everyone! You want to know why it's happy? Because the trailer for Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby adaptation is finally here! Yay! (Ok, that's enough exclamation points).

Ok, so I have to admit, I've been waiting for this trailer in both excitement and dread. Don't get me wrong, I really do love Baz Luhrmann. I love his style and his pace and his vividness. But...when I read Gatsby, I read it as a slow, melancholic ballad that just did NOT seem to mix with anything like "Moulin Rouge" or "Romeo + Juliet."

Look at that Gatsby smile.
There was a film made in 2000 starring Toby Stephens as Gatsby and Paul Rudd as Nick Carraway. Sure, it's not as exciting as a Luhrman film, but it is a darn good faithful adaptation of one of my favorite books. It has the melancholy, the jazz, and almost a film noir experience. Also, Rudd made me not hate Nick. I'm not saying it should be compared to the new Luhrmann film, but I do think, if you liked the book, you should check out this one too.

That being said, now that I've seen the new trailer, I'm as excited as ever. It definitely has a freshness to it that I can't dismiss. Baz has not only adapted but transformed the classic in a way that is going to bring life to the 1920s (something that I haven't really seen before in a film). I'm not going to criticize if it's isn't as faithful an adaptation as the Stephens version, because then what would be the point in adaptations and remakes in the first place? Part of the wonder of transformative works is seeing how different people interpret and express the same initial idea or story. I, for one, am really looking forward to this experience.

So, without further ado, the trailer:

By the way, if anyone is interested...I wrote a lesson plan for teaching Great Gatsby to high school students, and I would be more than happy to share it.



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