Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Trailer Park Tuesday: The Great Gatsby by Baz Luhrmann (and a guy named Fitzgerald)

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.  Unless their last name is Grisham or King, authors will probably never see their trailers on the big screen at the local cineplex.  And that's a shame because a lot of hard work goes into producing these short marriages between book and video.  So, if you like what you see, please spread the word and help these videos go viral.

Click the YouTube icon to see a larger version of the trailer

Okay, okay, calm down, Internetz!  It's just a trailer, an eye-snatch, a video crumb of things to come--nothing to get all hot and lathered over.  But that's exactly what the literary (and movie and music) web has been doing since last Tuesday when the two-and-a-half minute trailer for The Great Gatsby was released.  No, this isn't your granddaddy's Robert Redford and Mia Farrow (thank goodness).  The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, and Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway.  It's directed by Baz Luhrmann, has a Christmas release date planned, and will come to us in 3-D.  (record scratch)  3-what?!  That's right, my little googly-eyed friends, F. Scott Fitzgerald will now have the ability to reach right through the screen and splash a cocktail in your face.  One look at the trailer and it's pretty obvious where the "in your face" part will come in: aerial shots of flappers thrusting arms skyward, Gatsby's yellow Rolls-Royce careening through the streets of New York, Leo bursting through the doors with a HULK SMASH look on his face (which, admittedly, is probably my favorite part of the trailer).  Much of the interwebz conversation this week has centered around the anachronistic choice of music: tracks by Jay-Z and Jack White (channeling U2) laid over high-gloss Jazz Age party scenes.  The jarring soundtrack doesn't bother me because, after all, it's Baz "Remix" Luhrmann who gave us Romeo + Juliet paired with the Butthole Surfers and, in Moulin Rouge, Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman belting pop love songs atop a bejewelled elephant statue.  So, I don't really mind hearing Jack White scream "Love is blindness, I don't want to see/Won't you wrap the night around me?" while The Great Gatsby trailer comes to a frenetic climax (Giant champagne bottles!  Tom Buchanan growling "What kind of a row are you trying to cause in my house?"!  The eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg!  3-D Gatsby storming in out of the rain with his HULK SMASH face!).  I could be wrong, but I think Luhrmann's Gatsby will be a thrilling--but very loose--adaptation of West Egg melodrama.

What about you?  What do you think of this sneak peek?  Let loose in the comments section.


  1. I love it so much I can't stand it. It makes me tingly. (I have no objectivity when it comes to Fitzgerald.)

  2. Seems like a cartoon version of a classic for people on Ritalin who have never read the book. And DiCaprio? This generation's Redford. Maguire? Forget about it. Christmas release date? Now that's predictable. It just seems wrong.

  3. While I'm usually all for the edgy and the new, I have to say I'm a little concerned about this adaptation. I admit I laughed at Diane's "Seems like a cartoon version of a classic for people on Ritalin who have never read the book" comment.

  4. Gatsby's one of my favorite novels and I tend to sneer cheekily scantwise at cheesy remakes (hated Baz's R & J, for instance, although my disdain may have had at least as much ado about the original as the remake), and yet I'm entirely game for this clearly-faddish Luhrmann extravaganza. Why not a touch of the thrilling? Why not an over-the-top gin fizz? That's my take, and it's Gatsby-esque, I'll warrant.
    Thanks for posting the trailer, elsewise I may have missed it. And now 'HULK SMASH face' will be stuck in my brain for a week, although I'm only loosely familiar with the allusion...