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Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 Academy Award winning musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young British poet/writer, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge cabaret, actress and courtesan, Satine. It uses the colourful musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France.

Some plot details, specifically the poor artist and his dying lover, bear relation to the Giacomo Puccini opera La bohème (which Luhrmann has also directed several times), including references to the “Bohemian” subculture. The storyline is also similar to the myth of Orpheus, which tells of the muse retrieving his love from the Underworld, and the famous “Can can” music comes from one of the operatic versions of Orpheus and the Underworld. Otherwise, the plot resembles that of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera La traviata (and its source, the novel The Lady of the Camellias) in great detail. Luhrmann is said to have been inspired to make the movie after watching Dil Se (1998) by director Mani Ratnam.

The film was nominated for eight Oscars, and won two; for art direction and costume design. It was shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia.

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