A Master. Also, Class.

2161323masterpre.jpg I had the thrill last night of attending the New York Musical Theatre Festival's Master Class with Baz Luhrmann, who has only directed four films and yet is one of the most influential film directors of recent time.  An hour listening to the man, and you start to understand why. 

Baz Luhrmann is a sort of genius savant.  He's the kind of guy who, when asked questions from the audience like, "when you double the speed of playback of so and so character in Romeo and Juliet, did you decide that beforehand or during editing", is utterly incapable of giving a simple answer.  Instead, the man rambles on for ten minutes about how fast-forwarding lets him escape the dreariness of waiting for a character to slowly exit before the next line can be said, and that he was doing Romeo and Juliet for an audience that grew up on fast-forwarding past boring bits, and... by the time he's ten minutes in, finally remembering what the original question is and stopping himself to actually answer it, you don't want him to.  You want him to keep on going.

The best moment was when someone asked him about his inclusion of the awesome Moulin Rouge version of Roxanne, how he came to that choice.  A few minutes into his 10-15 minute long answer, we were treated to Baz's improvised fast-forward runthrough of the love medley from that same movie. 

I only wish the entire thing was an hour longer.  Now I have a sudden craving to watch Moulin Rouge with the entire director's commentary.


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