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Moulin Rouge. Outline. 1. Introduction: A. Setting ; B. Plot ; C. Basic Structure ; D. Structuralist Analysis & Major Argument 2. Musical as a Genre 3. Songs in the Musical Scenes 4. Visual Signs & Postmodern (Self-Conscious) Elements. Introduction.

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1. Introduction:

A. Setting;

B. Plot;

C. Basic Structure;

D. Structuralist Analysis & Major Argument

2. Musical as a Genre

3. Songs in the Musical Scenes

4. Visual Signs & Postmodern (Self-Conscious) Elements


A. Setting: The Bohemia underworld of Paris at the turn of the 20th Century. (1899-1900)

a setting 2
A. Setting (2)

Bohemian spirit: The state of mind and way of life began in about 1830 and continued until 1914. It was a time and place where misfits spent their lives outside society, choosing penury, squalor and freedom over prosperity and convention. They protested against the bourgeois, against a social structure based on money, against the increasing uniformity and drabness of existence. Bohemia had always been a lotus land for misunderstood and unproductive genius; it had given an artistic aura to vagrants without talent.

b plot
B. Plot:

Moulin Rouge is based on the Orphean myth of a penniless writer (Christine) who descends to the underworld in search of ideal love, and then falls in love with a courtesan (Satine).

b plot 2
B. Plot (2):

Orphean myth: Orpheus, the son of Apollo and Calliope, has the power to enchant with his music. When his love, Eurydice was killed, Orpheus descended into the Underworld to plead for her return. Enchanting Hades, monarch of the Underworld, with his music, Orpheus is permitted to leave with Eurydice on condition he does not look back to see if she is following him. When Orpheus nears the entrance to the underworld, fear overpowers him, he turns back to see if Eurydice is following, and he loses her forever.

c basic structure
C. Basic structure:

One (destitute) young man falls in love with a (rich) woman, but their love ends in tragedy, such as Shakespeare in Love; Camille.

moulin rouge structuralist analysis
Moulin Rouge Structuralist Analysis

1.     Christine (subject) searches his ideal love, Satine (object) in the underworld of Paris.

2.     Christine (sender) brings love into Satine’s (receiver) world.

3.     The black man (helper) saves Satine twice. One is when Satine falls down from a Trapeze; the other one is when the duke (opponent) wants to rape her.


1.  Bohemia underworld (Toulous) vs. Bourgeois world (The duke).

2. Love (Christine) vs. Money (Satine)

3. Practical (Zilder) vs. Romantic (Satine)

d argument
D. Argument:

Baz Lulman uses many skills to represent the theme of this movie—LOVE, such as musical, mellow drama, and postmodernism (parody, pastiche). He pushes us to feel such romantic/extreme love can never last in reality; therefore, death is the only solution in order to keep love forever.










musical moulin rouge
歌舞片﹝Musical﹞與紅磨坊﹝Moulin Rouge﹞




a. 推動情節

  • Cancan (the introduction of Moulin Rouge and building of misunderstanding)
  • The Elephant House (the growth and triumph of love)
  • Roxanne (building of tension and inner desire/conflict)


  • Christian’s “My Song”(naïve,


  • Satin’s “Fly Away”(contrast to the earlier material courtesan, a



c. 解決情境

  • Spectacular, Spectacular (to overwhelm the duke and gain his support)
  • Like a Virgin (to deceive the cause of Satin’s absence and her dying state)
  • The Show Must Go On(to convince Satin not to elope with Christian)
  • The ending show (to unknot the biggest misunderstanding between Satin and Christian, embracing truth, beauty, freedom and love)
musical moulin rouge17
歌舞片﹝Musical﹞與紅磨坊﹝Moulin Rouge﹞






musical moulin rouge18
歌舞片﹝Musical﹞與紅磨坊﹝Moulin Rouge﹞


  • the rehearsals of “Spectacular,

Spectacular” and the ending performance

musical moulin rouge19
歌舞片﹝Musical﹞與紅磨坊﹝Moulin Rouge﹞

“Masala Movie”

──the popular India Bollywood films

  • “Masala films” are usually extravagant mixing elements such as songs and dance numbers, violent action, and vibrations of the eternal themes of love, friendship and nationalistic fervor. Although often dismissed as escapist entertainment, Masala films remain widely popular in India and have become a major unifying force in a country separated by disparitive languages, religions, and standards of living.”
  • the Indian favors blending in the music, dance and the visual effects
iii the analysis of songs musical scenes
III The Analysis of Songs & Musical Scenes

A. Songs as the structure (of the film)

a. The whole film is divided into 4 sections, each section includes 5 songs

b. The first song (of each section) points out the theme

c. Zidler’s being the one to solve the crisis in the end of each section

a songs as the structure of the film 2
A. Songs as the structure (of the film) (2)

d. The development of love between Satine and Christian (conflicts solved in songs)

**misunderstanding recognition, attraction commitment jealousy, love

e. The repetition of “Children of the Revolution”

**Bohemian spirit wins over materialism

b myths within the songs
B. Myths within the songs

a. American songs V.S. English songs

**songs performed by American singers represent materialism

**songs performed by English singers represent the theme of love

b. Myth related with Orientalism

1. the example of “Roxanne”

**the Argentinean is followed with Tango music

** “Roxanne” exotic, sexual, dangerous, tension, male dominance

b myths within the songs 2
B. Myths within the songs (2)

2. the example of “Hindi”

**lyrics “She is mine”: male dominance

Satine’s part: yielding to the domination

**Hindi melody exotic, dangerous, tension, sexual, male dominance

c language songs meanings arbitrary relationship
C. language (songs) & meanings: arbitrary relationship

. a. “Emptied out” and filled with a new concept

** “In the Name of Love,” Nirvana, “Roxanne”

b. Meaning changes according to different contexts

** “It’s a little bit funny, this feeling inside”

c. Songs with different meanings are combined to present a new theme

** “Elephant Love Medley”

d songs related to postmodernism
D. Songs related to postmodernism:

pastiche and fragmentation

** “Elephant Love Medley,”

“Lady Marmalade,”

“Sparkling Diamond”

visual sign
Ⅳ Visual Sign


1.      Moulin Rouge— red and another colorful colors

2.      Other places— gray and dark


1.      Women’s — colorful dresses — be attractive

2.      Men — formal suit— pay money for pleasing women

postmodernism a self conscious film
Postmodernism— A Self-Conscious Film

Narrative Structure

1.      Beginning:

a.      The curtain of the film open

b.      Toulouse sings “Natural Boy.”

c.      Christine’s story telling

The start of Hindi

postmodernism a self conscious film28
Postmodernism— A Self-Conscious Film

1.      Ending:

a.      The end of Hindi

b.      Christine’s typing

c.      Toulouse’s song

d.      The curtain of the film close

postmodernism a self conscious film29
Postmodernism— A Self-Conscious Film

Filming Skills:

1.      Rewind

2.     Fast in actions

3.     Music using