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Geisteswissenschaften

Sylvia Krenn

Postmodern and Oriental Elements in 'Moulin Rouge!': Film Analysis

ISBN: 978-3-86341-144-2

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Produktart: Buch
Verlag: Bachelor + Master Publishing
Erscheinungsdatum: 03.2012
AuflagenNr.: 1
Seiten: 116
Sprache: Englisch
Einband: Paperback

Inhalt

Die Arbeit analysiert Baz Luhrmanns Film Moulin Rouge! (2001) vor dem Hintergrund postmoderner und orientalischer Stilmittel in Literatur und Film. Moulin Rouge! ist nach Strictly Ballroom (1992) und William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (1996) das letzte Werk in Luhrmanns ‚Red Curtain Trilogy‘. Charakterisierend für diese Art des Filmschaffens ist, dass der Fokus auf der Art der Erzählung bzw. der Erzählform liegt, und nicht primär auf ihrem Inhalt. Moulin Rouge! verknüpft Elemente des amerikanischen Musicals der 40er und 50er Jahre mit europäischen Charthits der 1990er und Erzähltechniken aus Bollywood Filmen. Dabei spielt er mit postmodernen und poststrukturalistischen Phänomenen wie Intertextualität, mehreren Erzählebenen sowie der Selbstreflexivität der Figuren als auch der Geschichte. Der Film ist laut, bunt und hektisch. Kitsch oder Kunst oder beides - das bleibt eine Frage des Geschmacks.

Leseprobe

Text Sample: Chapter 2.2, Orientalism in English Literature: The overview of Orientalism in literature and theatre is limited to British literature with a focus on nineteenth-century melodrama (cf. Krug). The use of oriental motifs and stage settings has been very prominent at that time in England whereas during that period and according to Mayer, the American melodrama only offers a few examples that draw on oriental images. The focus on nineteenth century texts also originates from Moulin Rouge! being set in the nineteenth century and alluding to coeval theatre practices. When Said attacks Orientalism, he often refers to the depiction of the East in literature and film. ‘The Orient’, Said writes, ‘was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences.’ (qtd. in Bernstein 2) From early on the Orient had much to offer for writers who where looking for new ideas and inspiration. For them, everything was different from what they knew from their own traditions and conventions. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, writers got bored from contemporary literature at that time and were looking for rejuvenation, which they found in Orientalism. The Orient was admired for its ‘imaginative power, its characters, vegetation and fabrics’ (Mac Kenzie 184). As early as in the 17th century, Horace Walpole admitted, ‘Read Sinbad and you will be quite sick of Aeneas.’ (Irwin Oriental Discourses) Jones was of the same opinion and found more leisure in reading The Thousand and One Nights than in reading the Classics - and he was not the only one. Addison, Coleridge, Tennyson and Proust read and were influenced by oriental literature (Irwin Oriental Discourses). According to the Norton Anthology of Literature, Orientalism in English literature started with the earliest translations of The Thousand and One Nights from French into English (Grub Street translations). The most popular translations were made by Edward Lane in 1840, and Richard Burton in 1885. Lane was a linguist and anthropologist who regarded the Nights as an ethnographic text full of encyclopaedic information concerning Middle Eastern popular culture, whereas up to this day, Burton's translation is the main source for the erotic imagery associated with the Orient, which also caused a huge scandal in Victorian England (cf. Balfe 79 and Nishio 156). Both translations are criticized for not corresponding to an 'Oriental' reality but for freely enriching their translations with their own images and fantasies about the Orient (cf. Marzolph 5). Thus the so-called ‘Oriental Tale’, of which Samuel Johnson's History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssina (1759) is a good example, became popular in England. Romantic Orientalism produced various important works, among them poems, novels, pantomimes or melodramas with recognizable elements of Asian and African place names or historical and legendary people in them. As some of the most prominent examples, the dream of ‘an Arab of the Bedouin Tribes’ in book 5 of Wordsworth's Prelude, a tempting affair with an Indian maiden in Keats's Endymion or Saife, and an Arab maiden in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein come to mind (cf. The Norton). Another rich source for Orientalism was the extensive travel literature at that time, for instance The Turkish Embassy Letters from British writer Lady Mary Montagu, or Jonathan Swifts' Gulliver's Travel (cf. Lowe pp. 34). The depiction of the Orient in all these writings in the eighteenth and nineteenth century was extremely heterogeneous and obviously always influenced by its time. The entrancing portrayals by many female writers travelling around the Orient often differ from popular depictions of an uncivilized and exotic Orient that were used to point at the putative, stable and powerful West (cf. Lowe 31). However, the question remains if this process only served to separate the English 'Self' from the Oriental 'Other' or whether the Orient was used as a stage, a free zone to evacuate the social or political issues of the time.

Über den Autor

Sylvia Krenn wurde 1978 geboren. Nach einem Studium der Betriebswirtschaft und mehrjähriger Tätigkeit in der Versicherungswirtschaft entschied sich die Autorin für ein geisteswissenschaftliches Studium in den Fächern Anglistik und Soziologie, das sie 2007 mit dem Bachelor of Arts abschloss. Während des Studiums beschäftigte sich die Autorin insbesondere mit postmoderner englischer und amerikanischer Literatur. Seit einigen Jahren ist sie als Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Bereich der Berufsbildungsforschung tätig.

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