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Baz Luhrmann

            To what extent are Baz Luhrmann's films characterised by theatricality and excess?.
             Baz Luhrmann has only directed three films but has also directed in theatre, opera and music. He began his career as an actor before discovering that his talents lay better behind the camera, in directing, writing and producing. .
             After a rural upbringing Luhrmann returned to his birthplace of Sydney and attended the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. So his background clearly influenced his interest and love for theatricality and the arts. .
             Throughout the 1980's Luhrmann carried out his desire to be involved in musical theatre and stage productions. .
             Luhrmann's first film "Strictly Ballroom" was based on a film he appeared in called "Winter of our Dreams". He originally wrote this as a stage play in 1986 and after several award winning incarnations it was converted into a well-executed film with exuberant dancing and an ironic yet sincere sentiment. It became an international hit after appearing at the Cannes Film Festival. .
             The three films I have chosen to look at are the only ones at present that Baz Luhrmann has directed. Luhrmann has worked with the same people on all three films, the set and costume designer Catherine Martin who in 1997 became his wife, and Craig Pearce, a co-writer who had a big influence on his work. All three people work well together and this allows Luhrmann to have a great deal of control over his projects. .
             All three of Luhrmann's films, "Strictly Ballroom" (1992), "Romeo and Juliet" (1996) and "Moulin Rouge" (2001), have been influenced by his passion for the theatre and his love for different art forms. .
             Luhrmann as an Auteur has had his work accredited by receiving a large number of Australian awards, some Baftas and for "Moulin Rouge" he also achieved some Oscars. .
             In his films Luhrmann mixes reality with illusion. He exaggerates the extraordinary to emphasise the world he has created and to maximise the impact of each film.

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