In this essay, I will be discussing how Baz Luhrmann uses cinematic techniques and how these techniques affect the themes of his films and how he adapts them to his unique style of filming.
Baz uses light and colour to bring in the concept of themes into his films and he adapts it to use them as symbolism to create the mood, set in the scene. Baz also uses the characters in such a way that they evolve from not knowing who one another is to the concept of being hard to love one another.
In the final scene of Strictly Ballroom, Baz uses Fran’s dress colour to show the emotions physically felt by her towards Scott, the colour is red, which can be directly linked to love. Baz uses a lot of the same camera angles and does not often change it. In The Great Gatsby, however, Baz uses a lot of colour for a few different purposes, one specific time is when Gatsby is optimistic due to the fact that he could gain back the love of Daisy. Gatsby purchases a bright coloured car, to show the viewers how he still has a tiny bit of hope that they can still end up together.
In The Great Gatsby, Baz uses colour and lighting to show us when Gatsby is at his happiest, by using bright clothing/costumes that represent his mood when he is with Daisy at his party, whereas in Strictly Ballroom, the colour throughout is very dull and not eye-catching, which sets the boring mood of the film, in The Great Gatsby there are always bright colours which catch the audience’s attention and keep them captivated throughout.
Baz learns from his mistakes and does better what he did not do in the previous films, there is always something to better on. Baz uses the lack of bright lights and costumes and improves upon it from fil to film. Baz also learnt from Strictly Ballroom that the characters did not have enough character so that the audience could relate to it, which was improved upon in later films like The Great Gatsby by giving them more character and improving upon the way he positions the lighting and the way the characters interact with one another.
In Strictly Ballroom, not many camera angles are used, which can help improve the way the audience can feel about the character, an example would be when Liz sees Fran, Liz could be viewed with a low camera angle to show at this moment that she is of more importance to Scott than Fran is, whereas in The Great Gatsby, Baz uses multiple shots and angles to set the mood and tone of the scene, which enhances the way the audience interacts with the movie. By Baz using low shots of Gatsby, it tells the audience that he is of greater importance to that of Tom.
Overall, Baz has evolved from starting with no prior knowledge to learning and teaching himself how to adapt what he wants, to the current day and age so that they can relate to these situations and learn from them, whereas in Strictly Ballroom nothing was really relatable, the lighting was dull and there was hardly any colour which made it hard to relate to for the audience.