21 October 2011

Moulin Rouge!

The film starts out with Christian, a young English writer, who sits at his desk in the year 1900, using his typewriter to recapture a story of love. The majority of the film is a flashback to the previous year when Christian first came to Paris to follow the Bohemian revolution. He gets in with the Bohemian crowd when they come crashing through his ceiling during a rehearsal in their room above Christian’s. They bond together and Christian becomes the writer for the musical about truth, beauty, freedom and love; called “Spectacular, Spectacular”. The Moulin Rouge, a drug and prostitute infested underworld, is home to the beautiful and talented star of the show, Satine. Satine seems perfect for the role of the Courtesan in the musical and therefore must be convinced to agree, and must also be approved by Harold Zidler, owner of the Moulin Rouge. While rehearsing for the play Christian and Satine fall madly in love, but they must keep it hidden from the others at the Moulin Rouge; especially the Duke.

Moulin Rouge was full of continuity editing; a system that uses cuts and other transitions to establish verisimilitude and to tell store efficiently. It lets the brain relax a bit but requires some thinking by the audience. The scenes shot have minimized perception of breaks between them (invisible editing), which makes for a more realistic and smoother flowing film.

There were numerous impressing editing techniques used in this film. The most common was the simple cut. This was used to switch to another scene. A very unique scene that stuck out to me and falls under the cut category was the hat scene. The scene starts out in the Moulin Rouge when all the gentlemen throw their top hats in the air and then the scene zoomed out to show the Moulin Rouge from far away. While looking at the zoomed out club, the hats that were thrown in the air were visible as small black spots as if they were thrown above the club. After that quick scene, the camera shot back to inside the Moulin Rouge as the hats fell back into the hands of the men that threw them. This editing shot is rarely seen and added more excitement to go along with the “Diamonds are a Girls Best Friend” song.

Another scene that stood out to me is an example of crosscutting, otherwise known as parallel editing. It was after the first hour, in the Moulin Rouge, when the Argentinean dances with one of the girls telling the story of Christian and Satine’s relationship. While that is going on the scenes switch to shots of Satine and the duke. This went on consecutively for the entire “Roxanne” song. The scenes corresponded with the song and every time the music got loud the scene would switch over to Satine and the Duke when they were fighting because the Duke found out that Satine did not love him.

This movie in itself was amazing, and the smooth editing only added to the overall performance.

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