Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'll see his movie....someday.

I have decided to research a TIMELY subject.

Baz Luhrmann.

His movie Australia is coming out soon. Or maybe it already did come out. Either way....I'm betting by the time I post this, it will be out. Maybe some of you have already seen it. I don't go to movies much, so I probably won't see it until it comes out on DVD.

Anyway, instead of watching the grand movie, I shall look into the life of Baz Luhrmann.

I don't know much about him yet, except that he's Australian, and that he's responsible for the modernized Romeo and Juliet and Moulin Rouge.

I shall start with Lord Wiki.

No, maybe I'll start with IMDb. They were my best friends before Lord Wiki came along. Remember back in the old days--when you saw a familiar looking actor in a movie, and couldn't rush to the computer to find out where you had seen him before?

Luhrmann did Strictly Ballroom. I didn't know that! I'm not sure if I've seen that movie. I did a semester of film school and some film classes outside of that. I have vague memories of maybe seeing the movie. I guess it didn't leave that much of an impression on me, if I did.

It seems before Luhrmann did his whole movie writer/director/producer thing, he did some acting. This was in the 1980's. He played Jerry Percival in a show called A Country Practice. It was a soap opera. The show was on for twelve years and Luhrmann was only in six episodes. Around this time, he was also in a movie with Judy Davis called Winter of our Dreams. That sounds kind of familiar to me. I like the title, although I probably would like any title that contained the word dreams.

I wonder if my dreams have seasons? I don't think so. And I don't think I have much winter. I think I have more summer. There seems to be a lot of swimming pools in my dream. Although last night I dreamed people were swimming in cold water. Maybe they were swimming in winter!

While I'm going off on tangents about my dreams, let's do more spirituality and occult stuff.

Numerology time.

Luhrmann was born in New South Wales on 17 September 1962. Interesting....IMDb writes the date the Aussie way. Is it an Australian website? Do they write all the birth dates like that? Or do they just do that for Australian people?

I just looked up an American. They wrote his birthday the same way.

Interesting.

Back to numerology....

Luhrmann was conceived around Christmas time! How cute.

He is a Virgo. Is it my imagination or have I been coming across a lot of Virgos? I know this is at least my second Virgo I've examined.

His numerology number is 8.

8 is all about wealth. Money. This numerology website describes the 8 as:

Your talent lies not with the bookkeeping or petty management, but with the greater vision, it's purpose, and long range goals. You are a visionary and a bit reckless. You possess the ability to inspire people to join you in your quest, but often they are incapable of seeing what you see. Therefore, those around you need your continual guidance, inspiration, and encouragement. You must prod them into action and direct them along the lines of your vision. You attract financial success more than any other Life Path, but effort is required.

According to the birthday website, 8 are not compatible with my number (7's). Before I dismiss any chances of me becoming best friends with Luhrmann; I must remember that my mom is a seven and my dad is an eight. They've been happily married for thirty-six years. Sometimes you CAN defy numerology.

In Chinese astrology, Luhrmann is a tiger.

His Native American sign is a bear.

Someone else I researched was a bear. Who was that? My mind is so fuzzy right now.

Luhrmann is 46 years old. And he's 554 MONTHS old.

The population of Australia the year Luhrmann was born was close to 11 million.

I'm back to IMDb now. Luhrmann grew up in rural Australia. They don't say exactly where. Mysterious. It seems his father owned a movie theater and this is what introduced the young Luhrmann to the world of film. Besides doing the movie theater thing, his parents also did ballroom dancing. It seems he was highly influenced by the activities of his parents.

Luhrmann invented his own style of filmmaking. It's called Red Curtain. I have no idea what that is. I'll have to find out more about that. Later.

In the trivia section of IMDb, it says Lurmann's family owned a gas station and a farm. It doesn't mention a movie theater. Maybe they didn't own a movie theater. Maybe they meant his father's movie theater... in terms of the movie theater where his father went to see movies.

I'm confused.

Luhrmann directed the word's most expensive commercial in 2004. It was for Chanel No 5 and starred Nicole Kidman (why am I not surprised?)

I'm very glad that blogger frequently saves what you're writing without your permission or not, because I just accidentally closed this window. I didn't lose anything! Oh and this happens to me with almost every post....every single day.

I'm trying to see if any commercials have since beat Luhrmann's record. It seems Guinness did in 2007. I'm not sure if there has been anything after that.

I'm going to go and talk to Lord Wiki now. He says Baz is not the guy's birthname. He was born as Mark Anthony Lurhman. I guess Baz sounds cooler.

All right Lord Wiki, clears up the questions I had about Luhrmann's childhood. His father DID own a movie theater--a movie theater and a petrol station. Wow. Impressive.

He lived in a place called Heron's Creek. I'm guessing that wasn't far from Sydney because he attended Sydney Grammar School at some point. Or maybe they eventually moved to Sydney.

I just looked at a map. It's certainly NOT near Sydney. It's way up north, near Port Macquarie.

He attended St. Augustines College. Since I'm American and college means university to us, I thought this was where he did his uni work. But it seems this is more equivalent to our high schools. Aussie Education/schools is one thing I'm way behind on in learning. Maybe because we homeschool. I know Australians say stuff like year ten and year eleven rather than eleventh grade, twelfth grade, etc. That's about all I know.

The school though is in Brookvale. Is that closer to Port Macquarie or Sydney? I'm trying to figure out how this guy made his way to Sydney?

It's closer to Sydney. It looks like it's near Manly.

So, it seems sometime during his teen years, the family moved to Sydney. Why? And what happened to the movie theater and petrol station?

Did Luhrmann go to college/Uni? Lord Wiki doesn't mention anything. Maybe he didn't. Then he'll be a good example of a successful person who never formally furthered his education. I'm not a big believer in the idea that everyone has to attend college. If you want to be a doctor--yeah. Good idea. But for a filmmaker? I think it's just as good to self educate. Instead of paying for an expensive degree, better to just use that money to buy a good camera.

Luhrmann married the production designer of his films. How sweet. How romantic. Her name's Catherine Martin.

Here's some fun Academy Award stuff. I think I actually remember this! He was nominated for best director in the Director's Guild Awards and Golden Globes. But he was snubbed by the Academy. The movie itself was nominated though. Whoopie Goldberg (who I guess was the host that year) joked I guess it just directed itself.

Lord Wiki has some information about Luhrmann's Red Curtain filmmaking stuff. He says each of the films (Strictly Ballroom, Romeo and Juliet, and Strictly Ballroom) begin in a vaudeville theater. The films are upbeat in the beginning and then change to a more somber mood. Basically, what I'm getting is that it's all very theatrical. Maybe exaggerated.

Australia is not going to use this style. At least, I don't think so. It seems Luhrmann did theRed Curtain thing as a trilogy, and now he's going to be doing historical films for awhile.

Luhrmann was working on a film about Alexander the Great. Sadly, his grand plans were thwarted by Oliver Stone who also made a film on Alexander the Great. I guess Luhrmann realized the market didn't need to be saturated with that subject.

Guess who was going to star in Alexander? Nicole Kidman. He really likes her, I suppose.

Lord Wiki says Bollywood has been an influence on Luhrmann's films. I can understand that. His films have that Bollywood feel. Although honestly, I haven't really seen any Bollywood films. I'm kind of talking out of my butt here. I did have a Bollywood soundtrack CD though. And I've heard enough about Bollywood to get a sort of aura about the whole thing.

Here's some interesting political stuff. Luhrmann worked on Paul Keatings political campaign. And he was asked by Kevin Rudd to make tourist ads promoting Australia.

I definitely have to find out more about all of that.

This Romeo and Juliet website says that Luhrmann actually orchestrated Keatings campaign. Wow. Other websites say he was an adviser. I wonder how big of a part he played in all of it.

You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to ask Lord Wiki about Paul Keating. If Luhrmann had a big role in the election campaign, I'll bet he'll be mentioned in Keating's section. If he played a smaller part, his involvement will probably be mentioned only in his own little Lord Wiki corner.

Well, I'm not seeing him mentioned. Lord Wiki doesn't know everything though. So, who knows......

Now I'll go look up the tourist ad thing. Wow. Here it is on YouTube. I have to say I'm impressed. I don't think I've ever seen such a lovely tourism ad. I like this much better than the Nicole Kidman perfume ad.

I DID wonder if it would be somewhat offensive to Indigenous Australians. In the ad, a stressed out white person is visited in her sleep by an Aboriginal child. The child tells this white woman to come to Australia. She needs to go walkabout. The ad appeals to me because at times I feel some spiritual entity has whispered to me. Go to Australia. Be obsessed with Australia. Make a blog about Australia. Buy Vegemite and Tim Tams. I mean not a literal whisper. I just mean I feel sometimes spiritually pulled--like a damn puppet or something.

I did wonder if there would be controversy about all this. White people being spiritually called by Indigenous Australians. It's all a bit Marlo Morgan.

Anyway, yes there was some controversy. This article has a bit about that. It seems the controversy is that some Indigenous Australians believe the ad promotes tourists visiting sacred sites where they should not intrude. Defenders of the ad say that the ads do not actually make specific reference to any place. So, it's not like an average annoying American tourist will watch the ad and say Let's go to that specific place. They'll probably just go to Sydney and Uluru where they'll be suffocated by other tourists and cameras. Then they'll say. This was definitely not like the commercial!

I do wonder how this ad and the movie Australia will effect tourism. I'm betting there will be some type of increase in visitors.

I started doing more googling and now see that the movie has come out. Or at least the critics are having their say. It seems the general consensus is the movie is good, but not great. That makes me feel more justified in waiting for it to come on DVD. I do feel some pressure to see that movie. I have a feeling for the next few weeks, everyone and their uncle is going to ask me. So, did you see Australia yet?

Oprah liked the movie. She endorses it. I'm not a big fan of Oprah because she also endorsed that Dr. Phil guy who was incredibly rude about Co-sleeping.

She did endorse Obama though and I like him.

That's weird. Entertainment Weekly hasn't reviewed the movie yet. At least it's not up on their website. Maybe it hasn't been released to American critics yet? Oh yeah. But Duh. How did Oprah see it then? Maybe Entertainment Weekly is snubbing the movie!

Although some Indigenous Australians were not happy with the Luhrmann tourism commercial, some were very pleased with the Australia movie. Apparently it deals with the subject of the stolen generation. They also employed a lot of indigenous people as actors/extras.

Anyway, I'm not to eager to see Luhrmann's movie, but I am eager to hear other people's opinions about it. I'll look forward to seeing if anyone writes about it on their blog.