Moulin Rouge opens Cannes film festival on Wednesday, and the UK press coverage has begun in earnest. In yesterday's UK Sunday Times, Culture section, Baz Luhrmann describes Moulin Rouge as the third and last of his "red-curtain" movies, which all have a central theme intended to "awaken an audience and remind them that at all times they are watching a film". For Strictly Ballroom, this theme was dance and for Romeo + Juliet, the Shakespearian dialogue. For Moulin Rouge it is song. "Moulin Rouge is a story told through song", he says.
So, what of the songs themselves? The Sunday Times says: "Instead of commissioning a whole new score, Luhrmann decided to "take all the culture of the past 100 years, tear it up and piece it back together to make our own world". This lead to some deliciously incongruous melanges for a musical ostensibly set at the end of the 19th Century. Kidman sings Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend; McGregor sings Elton John's Your Song with Placido Domingo; David Bowie and Massive Attack collaborate on the Nat King Cole number Nature Boy; Jose Feliciano sings Roxanne as a tango; Beck and Timbaland do a cover of Bowie's Diamond Dogs; and so on."
David's two recordings of Nature Boy open and close both the film, and the soundtrack which is on sale in the UK from May 14th and in the USA tomorrow!.