The 20s have always been a source of wonder and excitement — Ziegfield Follies, flappers, gin rickeys… All of the nostalgia has reached new heights with the release of Baz Lurhmann‘s take on The Great Gatsby. With typical Lurhmann spectacle, the movie is an event not to be missed. That being said, it’s certainly not for everyone. Fans of the Redford version will be sorely disappointed gone are the jazz beats and floaty dresses. Lurhmann has interpreted the story in a way that is simultaneously closer to Fitzgerald’s original and strangely modern. The music throughout is a source of great contention — NPR’s take here. Rather than sticking to typically jazz age music the movie is laced with rap beats and indie tracks. At times the effect is jarring; Gatsby’s great parties seem an ill fit for Beyoncé. The great exception is Lana del Rey’s Young and Beautiful. Appearing several times throughout the film it perfectly captures the haunting romance between Daisy & Gatsby and Myrtle & Tom. Without further ado, here’s Young and Beautiful:
Just in case you need more enticement to see the film, here’s my favorite trailer:
If you’re looking for even more 1920s immersion, check out these books. I’m partial to Tender is the Night myself but all of them come with my highest recommendations.
- Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald: One of Fitzgerald’s later novels, this book is delicious! Filled with affairs, flappers and movie stars it’s a great beach read.
- Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin: How could I not include one of the books Rory read on Gilmore Girls?! This is a bit more serious with less story and more historical discussion but it’s still a fun read.
- The Portable Dorothy Parker: This gem of a book is constantly in my reading rotation — I just can’t get enough of Parker’s short stories and hilarious poems.
- Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald: The latest addition to my collection, Z is shaping up to be a favorite. I highly recommend the audio version for a true “Zelda Sayer” experience.