This is the secret to Baz Luhrmann’s film style, according to the director that divides Elvis

Quick links

  • How Baz Luhrmann Gets Audiences to “Buy” His Movies
  • Why Baz Luhrmann’s films change tone

When audiences see “A Baz Luhrmann Movie” in the title card of a movie trailer, they pretty much know what they’re about to see. In the most fabulous way, they’ll experience the color, energy, music and explosive, often over-the-top tone that made the Aussie director incredibly divisive. And yet he has made some of the most successful films of the past twenty-five years.

Of course, his most recent, Elvis, was praised by many critics, thanks in particular to the performance of Austin Butler. While the actor may have suffered while making the sensationalist biopic, there is no doubt that his career has benefited from it. This is also despite the fact that the 2022 film left out some pretty glaring details about Elvis’ lifeincluding jumping the dark part of his relationship with Priscilla.


While many film critics and historians have tried to explain exactly what Baz Luhrmann’s film style is, the director recently spoke about it himself. Here’s what he had to say…

How Baz Luhrmann Gets Audiences to “Buy” His Movies

In an interview with Vulture, discussing the success of Elvis and what helped bring the film to life, director Baz Luhrmann explained how he creates his extremely unique style. In his interview with Vulture writer Matt Zoller Seitz, Luhrmann dubs himself the “Stanley Kubrick of confetti”. In many ways, this is an accurate description of his level of detail as well as his focus.

Much like a shot from a confetti cannon, Baz Luhrmann’s style is big, loud and colorful. It’s also extremely fast, which is a complaint it’s received before, especially when it comes to its editing style. But Luhrmann knows precisely what he’s doing and he knows that some people won’t like it.

“The idea of ​​it – the pacing and the editing and all that – is to make you lean forward and go, I have to work here as an audience member. I can’t just sit and eat my pop -corn . I need to absorb this information. The idea behind my intensity of attacking the public is to convey that I am not doing a traditional thing, which is to quietly rock you and sneak around”, explained Baz Luhrmann to Vulture.

Related: Nicole Kidman’s necklace in ‘Moulin Rouge’ was the most expensive necklace ever made for the cinema

In his interview with Vulture, Luhrmann explained that there is a moment in each of his films where the audience unknowingly signs a deal with him. He called this deal “a contract” and it’s finally the moment they buy into his over-the-top style.

“In Strictly Ballroom, it’s when Ken Railings comes in and says, ‘Pam Shortt broke both legs, and I want to dance with you,’ and that’s ridiculous,” Luhrmann said. “In Moulin Rouge!, the signing of the contract is when they dance to ‘Your Song’ and they kiss, then they have all the stuffing on ‘Spectacular, Spectacular’, and at the end he says : ‘Generally , I like it.’ In Romeo + Juliet, it’s “Now where’s Romeo?” And he’s on the beach.”

As for Elvis, Baz Luhrmann claimed that there are two moments where the audience essentially signs what they do with the story. The first is the “pink suit moment” when Elvis buys the iconic suit from the men’s boutique on Beale Street. The second is when Elvis meets the Colonel, played by Tom Hanks.

Related: How well do Baz Luhrmann and his wife Catherine Martin work together?

“After that, you’re in the style of the movie or you’re not. You come with us or you’re not. And some people leave the theater and go, I don’t know what it’s like. ‘is * ** is. I’m out!”

Why Baz Luhrmann’s films change tone

Red Mill! is more than a musical. It’s slapstick comedy. It is a Shakespearean drama. This is a fever dream music video. It’s several things at once. The same goes for The Great Gatsby, Elvis and even Australia by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

According to his interview with Vulture, Baz Luhrmann claimed he did it because the directors he admired did it. This includes Ingmar Bergman, Orson Wells and John Ford.

“[John Ford will] mix high comedy and broad comedy, and get yourself up there so he can punch you in the gut with psychological drama. He tosses the coin all the time,” Luhrmann explained.

“I was raised in a very isolated place where we only had one black and white television,” he continued. “My diet was old movies. I think I skipped a generation and was programmed by movies like Citizen Kane and The Red Shoes. Those old movies weren’t considered high art in the years 70s – or, you know, there was only a little It was programming that kind of got dropped on regional TV So my style comes from a combination of being extremely classic and old-fashioned, but also to try to find an extremely modern way of expressing that. I always make my films for the future, not for the present. I want them to be relevant later.

Related: Priscilla Presley loved the recent Elvis biopic but struggled to watch for this surprising reason

While what Baz Luhrmann does on screen isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, there’s no doubt the director will continue to do what he does. His directorial choices made him one of the most recognizable and respected filmmakers of his generation. More importantly, he has legions of fans eager to see what kind of colorful and crazy film he makes next.

Comments are closed.