Welcome back for episode 4! The Great Gatsby has been interpreted for film, television, theatre, opera, ballet, and as a video game, but this week, we watch Baz Luhrmann’s frankly exhausting 2013 film. A few notes (and things we enjoyed):
*Learn more about Ginevra King – Fitzgerald’s muse for Daisy Buchanan and a half-dozen other characters, and a fascinating person in her own right.
*Read about alcohol culture in the 1920s at PBS – bonus cocktail recipe at the end. Also make sure to read Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook, which explores how Prohibition led to a spike in death from bootleg alcohol (and how the government deliberately made denatured alcohol deadlier as a deterrent) (the book was also turned into a PBS documentary). In this light, Gatsby comes off as being a lot more sinister, as illegal alcohol purveyors didn’t care that they were killing off their clientele.
*This excellent long read from The New Yorker recounts W.E.B. Du Bois’s debate with eugenicist Madison Grant.
*Finally, we are both big fans of Cinema Sins, and their recap highlights most of our stylistic issues with this movie. Stick around for the tally of “Old Sports!” at the end.
Next time – before Downton Abbey, there was Gosford Park. Join us and EVERY SINGLE BRITISH ACTOR for Julian Fellowes’ first of many scripts examining British country house life.