Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Moulin Rouge: A Venture into Relativity?

One night, my friend and I heard Ewan McGregor’s and Nicole Kidman’s duet of “Come What May.” It is an old song, and I grew up listening to it. It turns out it is much older than I realized. For my friend says she grew up listening to it. It turns out that the song “Come What May” is not even originally of Baz Luhrmann’s make . Most people who know old songs recognize “montages” from other songs—such as The Police’s “Roxanne ,” Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” Eden Ahbez’s “Nature Boy, ” Elton John’s “Your Song,” Gloria Estefan’s “Rhythm of the Night,” “Elephant Love Medley” which borrows a lot of familiar spots from "All You Need Is Love" and "Heroes" straight on to "I Will Always Love You ," Marilyn Monroe’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” coupled with Madonna’s “Material Girl,” even Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” (when Satine tries to hide Christian from the Duke), Patti Page’s Come What May, and so on. Thus, as with the songs, the concept of Moulin Rouge—that is, a musical-type film—is not original. We can hark back to Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Sunset Boulevard, and other musical greats on the silver screen.

But what is the point of this entire exercise, you ask. My point is that trends are cycled, more often than not. We see this in the trends of today being from my generation’s parents—aviator shades, culottes/skorts, love beads, platforms, bell bottoms—I think you get the idea. Moulin Rouge’s idea—a self-proclamation of a “rebirth” in musicals in the cinema—is that: a rebirth and NOT an original idea. My question now is, what IS original now? Are there any new, groundbreaking trends/ideas? I’m not talking about science or technology, but even that can sometimes be already questioned: some advancements are echoes of what Chinese/Incan/Indian/Middle Eastern (? Sorry, no concrete evidence for this) scholars and astrologists pre-divined, or had already made rough prototypes of in a bygone era. So yes, my question remains: what IS the innovation, or what ARE the innovations that our world, our era has given?

Can we perhaps say that the only original input we have offered are our ”personal touches,” the subjectivity to the objectivity?


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