Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Jay Gatsby's Shirts

I think it was the shirt scene when my experience of watching Baz Luhrmann's film The Great Gatsby shifted. Daisy is on Gatsby's bed. He races up the stairs to a bedroom mezzanine where his innumerable shirts are stored and begins pulling them off the shelves, shouting out the names of the fine fabrics from which they're constructed (cotton! silk! muslin! linen!) while tossing them, in flutters and waves, down to her on the bed below. Daisy is showered by, wrapped up in, a pool of imported English shirts, turning and laughing and finally crying amidst these "beautiful shirts." The scene is an echo of several other shots in the film that feature impossibly long ceiling-to-floor drapes that subtract space from a room until someone finally shuts the door.