Author(s): Tom Ryan
Though he has made only five films in two decades-Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare's Romeo Juliet, and the Oscar-nominated films Moulin Rouge!, Australia, and The Great Gatsby-Australian writer-director Baz Luhrmann is an internationally known brand name. His Christian name has even entered the English language as a verb, as in "to Baz things up," meaning "to decorate them with an exuberant flourish." Celebrated by some, loathed by others, his work is underscored by what has been described as "an aesthetic of artifice" and is notable for both its glittering surfaces and recurring concerns. In this collection of interviews, Luhrmann discusses his methods and his motives, explaining what has been important to him and his collaborators from the start and how he has been able to maintain an independence from the studios that have backed his films. He also speaks about his other artistic endeavors, including stage productions of La Boheme and A Midsummer Night's Dream, and his wife and collaborative partner Catherine Martin, who has received two Academy Awards for her work with Luhrmann.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Tom Ryan was the film critic for the Sunday Age and has been a regular contributor to the arts pages of the Age and the Australian for three decades in addition to publishing in Lumiere, Cinema Papers, Movie, Positif, Film Comment, and Senses of Cinema. He is editor of Fred Schepisi: Interviews, published by University Press of Mississippi.