This incredibly powerful film has been on my radar for a good while for a number of reasons. The intensity of the narrative and the lead characters is genuinely fascinating whilst the plot fits beautifully with my love for all things darkness and light and the body of work that I have built that portrays this contrast. The ‘no matter what it takes’ mentality of the two lovers is incredible and in-line with other past pieces such as ‘We Are Together Now’ (Beauty & The Beast) and ‘Love will Find a Way’ (Romeo & Juliet). It is that strength of character and resilience that has always struck a chord and personifies the concept of what one would do for love. Another appealing factor was the fact that the story is set within Paris, a city that I have such a love for and have shared so many special memories within.
I originally planned to tackle this as a classic ‘Storyteller’ piece that was built on an intense scene that centred on the iconic windmill. However, with a partner who has so many classic Parisienne posters I chose (was pushed!) to interpret the striking movie poster from 2001. This way I could focus on the intense connection between the two characters in the same way as I have previously done with the two pieces mentioned above. With this more abstract style it allows for a sense of movement rather than being static, it allows for the intensity of their emotions to radiate outwards from them through subtle signature details such as the love hearts and butterflies. Every element has been amplified to create more emotion and a bigger impact.
For those who aren’t familiar with the plot of Moulin Rouge, the year is 1899, and Christian, a young English writer, has come to Paris to follow the Bohemian revolution taking hold of the city's drug and prostitute infested underworld. And nowhere is the thrill of the underworld more alive than at the Moulin Rouge, a night club where the rich and poor men alike come to be entertained by the dancers, but things take a wicked turn for Christian as he starts a deadly love affair with the star courtesan of the club, Satine. But her affections are also coveted by the club's patron: the Duke. A dangerous love triangle ensues as Satine and Christian attempt to fight all odds to stay together but a force that not even love can conquer is taking its toll on Satine.
My favourite detail is the subtle use of butterflies to depict the wish for Satine to be free from her manager’s ‘promise’ and free to be with her true love Christian. A lovely detail made even more poignant by her passing and therefore fitting beautifully into the main reason why I use these within my works, symbolising a person’s true spirit being free. I also love the view over Paris, it brings back special memories of spending Christmas with my family in a beautiful apartment that overlooked the city as the Eiffel tower sparkled into life. A true city of contrasts that’s for sure!
Spectacular Spectacular, I hope you’ll agree!
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