Latimes.com – Australia” deliberately hearkens back to the kind of filmmakers and films (think David Lean and “Lawrence of Arabia” or John Ford and “The Searchers”) that gave cinema its bigger-than-life scale. The kind of epics that few directors or studios even try for anymore.
Luhrmann argues that fear has been the genre’s worst enemy.
“Fear of the money, fear of the scale,” Luhrmann said recently. “It’s not easy to sell. It’s easy to market a film about one genre. But it’s not easy to market in this modern age — a film that will make you laugh, make you cry, make you swoon. This belonged to a time where cinema was grand and very brave and very, very absolute.”
It’s not difficult to see certain film’s influences on Luhrmann. The cattle drive in “Australia,” which opened Wednesday, and stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman in a tale set Down Under between 1939 and 1941, recalls Howard Hawks’ landmark western “Red River” as well as the classic Australian film “The Overlander.” The massive Outback cattle ranch Kidman’s character inherits was inspired by George Stevens’ Texas tale “Giant.” Even the film’s tumultuous love story between Kidman and Jackman has its roots in the heated, often rocky romance between Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in “Gone With the Wind.”
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