New York, 1922.
The tempo, the city--it changed sharply. The buildings were higher. The parties were bigger. The morals were looser, and the liquor was cheaper. The restlessness approached.
In the eighth grade, I was assigned my first literary analysis--a daunting task, indeed. My teacher, Mrs. Gebhardt, gave us a list of options taken from the American Literary Canon from which to write our essays on. If you haven't gathered, I have a nerd within me, and during the age span of 13-16, that nerd was as alive and well as ever. I spent great lengths of time and energy researching every novel, ensuring I selected the perfect one for me.
Many of them seemed beyond my years, like The Color Purple with its intense vulgarity and violence, and I steered clear of anything having to do with mythology after a treacherous experience with Ulysses in the seventh grade. So, in the midst of Huck Finn and Shakespearean plays, I was finally lured into the glitz and glam of the roaring twenties found in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. And I'll admit, the fact that it was short and sweet was also very tempting.
I just skimmed my paper from back in the day and it's, well, not my finest work by any means. My in-class writing on Gatsby junior year (written in a mere 40 minutes) is leaps and bounds better than this rookie piece, but there's nothing like your first love affair with fine literature. To date, it is one of my favorite stories. So, it's an understatement to say that I'm ever so pleased to see Baz Luhrmann (of Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet) bringing the East and West Eggs to the big screen this Christmas.
Even watching the two-minute trailer is a treat, getting a glimpse of the extravagant parties, exquisite wardrobes and that dazzling DiCaprio playing Mr. Jay Gatsby himself. Though we are all familiar with this tale of deceit, corrupt love, and mostly, tragedy, this film will undoubtedly be one of the most visually stunning of the year. Its cast is pretty killer too with Leonardo DiCaprio, as mentioned, Tobey Maguire as the outsider looking in, in the role of Nick Carraway, and Carey Mulligan lighting up the screen as Daisy Buchanan (a role sought after by Keira Knightly, Natalie Portman, and other established actresses).
I guess as we approach this long weekend, entertainment's on my mind. It's been awhile since I've seen a good flick and I just might fish around for one as I dedicate this weekend to guilt-free laziness. Happy Memorial Day!