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Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates! For his lead – playing Parysia, the glamorous star of the show – Dupont cast Olga Tschechowa (‘Chekhova’ in English). While mother and daughter then enjoy themselves at a fashion salon, selecting items for Margaret’s trousseau, Dupont cuts-back to André, who’s struggling to write a confessional note to his father. The Great War had loosened the strings of a whole generation of young people, keen to ‘enjoy themselves’, whether that was dancing to Jazz, wearing a new wave of revealing fashions or just living a less-restricted life than their Victorian parents. More than once, he writes-out the words, only to tear-up the notepaper.
As we saw in the opening, everyone’s playing-out roles.
Above all, though, the highlight of the film for me, were the naturalistic performances of the major players. It is another homage to the club in the last decade of the 19th century and is visually reminiscent of the works of Edgar Degas and the other artists who frequented it. but she’s too drunk either to pay it much attention or to see how conflicted André then appears.
Viewed with the perspective of time, this ninety-year old film is not without its flaws. BIP’s pitch, lay in assembling top-tier European talent for pictures tailored to the Home & Commonwealth markets and, with Dupont’s reputation still glowing from Varieté, it seemed – for a while, at least – that he might flourish at their Elstree studio. He’s played by then-popular French silent star Jean Brodin, as an untrustworthy figure. It is a love story between Ewan McGregor’s struggling Scottish poet and playwright Christian and Nicole Kidman’s Satine, a cabaret actress and courtesan. The cinematographer Oswald Morris rendered the colour scheme in Toulouse-Lautrec’s palette to make it look as if the artist himself had shot it.
First, that the film would contain lengthy sequences featuring snippets of its show, thus allowing him to return to capturing ‘performance’ once again. You might say, that being open to new ideas is something the UK does particularly well: even today, our ‘melting pot’ culture thrives still.
Then there’s the wife, who notices that her husband is fascinated more by the naked back of the lady sat alongside, than he is by the show. By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie.
After a little persuasion he complies, but Dupont undercuts this by showing him imagining to kiss Parysia instead… His unexpected ardour, surprises Margaret (‘André!
Second, that the Moulin Rouge theatre resonated with an entire generation of young men, who’d visited the place whilst on leave from their duties in France, during WW1. The original British print of the film couldn’t be found for this BFI restoration, so a Danish-language version was sourced. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is the central character of John Huston’s Moulin Rouge, which was based on the novel by Pierre La Mure.
For Parysia, it means a quick-change, with what we presume to be her daughter’s gift of a flower-basket derided & ignored: ‘Who are those tasteless flowers from?’ she asks her dresser. With the rise of Nazism in Germany, Chekhova found herself courted professionally by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister for Propaganda and personally, by Head of the Luftwaffe, Hermann Göering. The basic plot is dangerously thin, being the stuff of a racy novella rather than a two-hour drama. In order to mimic the artist’s short stature, José Ferrer walked on his knees using specially made pads and a series of platforms and concealed pits were used.
At first, I took the spiv to be the girl’s pimp, but he’s revealed to be doing something far worse: he’s selling soft-core postcards… This Paris, then, is full of sharks & ne’er-do-wells. He delights in sharing his stage with a few vignettes of life out in the audience; his roving camera lingers on a soldier who takes a lit cigarette into his mouth and still blows smoke. It’s lumbered with an opening montage that’s too long and an initial sequence (in the bar) that’s neither referred or returned-to for the rest of the picture. Dupont opts to write the second option but there’s a problem: André’s father objects to his son marrying the daughter of an actress… Undeterred, Parysia visits him.
Back at his luxury apartment, he can’t sleep, preferring to gawp at the photos in the programme and fantasise about What Might Be… In his way, then, André is revealed to be as naïve as his fiancée. After her face registers a full-spectrum of emotions, Parysia tells her dresser: ‘A different dress, Louise. However, though Moulin Rouge might be Important for what it represents, I can’t say that it’s much cop as a film… While Dupont excels at conveying narrative within self-imposed constraints, what narrative he has to share is, as I’ve already said, lamentably thin and lumbered with an irrelevant prologue.
A poster for the original ‘Moulin Rouge’ from 1928 – the film was a worldwide hit, Zsa Zsa Gabor performs in ‘Moulin Rouge’, 1952, © Eliot Elisofon/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images. So. The sequence ends, with a shot of Margaret wearing some kind of leotard & ra-ra skirt combo and asking Parysia ‘Will André like me in this?’; her question answered abruptly, by switching to a shot of André collapsing onto his bed, sobbing bitterly. He’s not ready, preferring the chase after forbidden fruits…. Indeed, Goebbels bestowed upon Chekhova the honorary title ‘State Actress of the Third Reich’, thus enhancing her chances of being cast in officially-sanctioned films of the period and paving the way for greater privileges during the hard years of the war-to-come. But falling in love is never easy, especially when you must simultaneously mount a play at the Moulin Rouge, escape the jealous clutches of a Duke, and deal with a life-threatening illness.
Things come to a head when, at dinner, Margaret asks André to kiss her.
When she leaves (whether to evade or lure him on, we’re unsure), our man duly follows: only to be pursued in-turn, by a spivvy accomplice who’s been watching the set-up play-out. That night, characters reveal themselves; rather, their deep truths are revealed. Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. and the Terms and Policies, A noisy, smoky, busy bar, where an average Joe sits on a bench between a pair of ‘good-time gals’.
We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your email. Coming Soon. This 10-digit number is your confirmation number. The spiritual home of the modern can-can, beloved by the greatest painters (and drinkers) of the Impressionist period, and topped by surely the most famous windmill this side of Amsterdam, the Moulin Rouge is a Pigalle landmark of unmistakable appearance and unmitigated vibrancy. Although originally released in 1928 as a silent film, the advent of soundtracked film around that time, led to a new score being recorded and added to a shortened 1929 reissue. Later, at a club – and at Margaret’s insistence – she pushes mother & fiancé together for a friendly kiss, but André’s about to convert a friendly peck-on-the-cheek to a potential lip-smacker, that’s only avoided when Parysia swerves aside.
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Dupont manages to capture the glamour of show-business in these scenes and little of its seediness.
The girl turns to her partner, claiming Parysia is actually her mother… ‘Is she not wonderfully beautiful?’ reads the inter-titles. Later, we see any joy Parysia felt on being reunited with Margaret, clouded by a newfound despair for her child, as she sits alone in the gloom, applying night-cream to her face.
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The uncertainty lasts until the following day. All human life is here: from the drilled chorus lines to a scene from The Mikado, there seems to be something for everyone in the rapt audience.
Some things are harder to forget, than others…. It seems to this writer, that no ‘weekend pass’ in Paris would be complete, without a visit to ‘the Windmill’… If I’m right, then Dupont’s decision can be seen as astute, if nothing else. Along with a fresh HD remastering, new English-language inter-titles were created to replace those in Danish.
That Moulin Rouge is an Important Film, I’ll not contend.
This British drama was written, directed and produced by Ewald André Dupont.
Such was Varieté’s success, that a Hollywood contract beckoned (with Universal), but Dupont wouldn’t be the first – or last – European Director to find Hollywood’s movie culture too restrictive and he left after making just one picture.
Underneath all the feathers, glitter and make-up is a disciplined team of professionals who work tirelessly in a job that is physically demanding in the extreme. Your AMC Ticket Confirmation# can be found in your order confirmation email. Parysia compounds matters by suggesting a quick wedding ‘in two weeks’.…. Instead of returning to Germany, Dupont ended-up at British International Pictures (‘BIP’); a short-lived outfit destined to be influential in the later founding of Rank Films. His flaws have already been elegantly shown.
Price Match Guarantee. His principle character, is a dancer at Paris’ famous ‘Moulin Rouge’ variety theatre: a smart choice of location.
For Dupont, his critical breakthrough came with the 1925 picture Varieté; a study of emotions exchanged between a quartet of trapeze artists. The Parisian venue’s rich history and the lives of the colourful characters who have frequented it have inspired numerous feature and documentary films over the years. E. A. Dupont started as a film journalist in Berlin, before switching to write & edit original screenplays. Copyright © Fandango. As a result, we go from the crazed mayhem of Parysia’s show-stopper to total silence then back again; credit to Dupont and his editor Harry Chandlee, for leaving us feeling as disoriented as Parysia.
Parysia receives Margaret & André in her drawing room and is on the verge of telling them how resolute André’s father was in his objection, when her maid interrupts, bearing a letter: he agrees after all: and no-one appears happier than Parysia, or more aggrieved than André, on-realising what this means. Culture Trip stands with Black Lives Matter. I’ll conclude with this: the film’s BFI-funded restoration.
Parysia meets her daughter – Margaret – outside the Stage Door. The image is an example of a ticket confirmation email that AMC sent you when you purchased your ticket.
: why did Margaret wait so long before telling Andre – her fiancé, remember – that Parysia was her mother?
Dupont actually filmed these sequences at the Lido de Paris, I’m guessing on account of its larger auditorium & stage, allowing more freedom in his camera placement & lighting set-ups.
Afterwards, Parysia’s in her dressing room and being entertained by The Marquis (Marcel Vibert); a twirly-moustachioed admirer and someone who, we’re led to believe, is probably Parysia’s lover.
Moulin Rouge (1928) Director / Screenplay: E. A. Dupont / Editing: Harry Chandlee / DP: Werner Brandes / Music: Joseph Littau Cast: Olga Chekhova / Eve Gray / Jean Bradin / Georges Tréville / Marcel Vibert / Blanche Bernis / Ray Milland Year: 1928 The Show Must Go On….
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