I went to see Baz Luhrman’s Australia–ostensibly for the Outback-themed costume designs and RM Williams screen appearances. I went with low expectations but was surprised by how truly terrible the film turned out to be. I have a fast forward rule for dvds at home. If a film is not working for me, I fast forward through to the end, pausing here and here to spot check on interesting visuals. Australia built the fast-forward mechanism into the narrative itself–glossing over key plot developments and lurching audience focus from character to character. In fashion form, the film was the equivalent of a tissue tee that rips at the seams after a single wearing.
Australia makes me think that I’d be fine if all media production came to a halt. At this point, I’d be content to receive all my popular entertainment through the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (audio bonus: music by Irving Berlin, etc). This week, I’ve been rewatching Top Hat(Sandrich 1935). Although this film is famous for its feathered cheek-to-cheek dance number, I’m drawn to the scenes featuring Ginger Rogers/Dale Tremont in her Alberto Beddini designed equestrian ensemble.