Moulin Rouge

Great Britain 1928. Dir E.A. Dupont.

With Olga Tschechowa, Eve Gray, Jean Bradin. c137min

Amidst the illuminations of the cafés, theatres and streets of Paris – shot on location and on lavishly constructed sets at Elstree studios – German director E.A. Dupont tells the story of Parysia: shimmering star of the Moulin Rouge. Key for Dupont is the juxtaposition between the glamour of the stage and the stark, often vulgar, reality of the world outside. In a move which destabilises a purely voyeuristic consumption of the film, the director gives equal focus to the chorus and their audience… we see the leering gaze of the gentleman patrons of the music hall as much as the exotic dance routines on stage. The film’s translation of a theatrical spectacle into a screen spectacle displays Dupont’s cinematographic virtuosity as a director.