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Intertextuality and the musical

by Kate Fortmueller

In Jane Feuer's article "The Self-Reflexive Musical and the Myth of Entertainment," she talks about how musicals (especially MGM musicals in the 1950s) manipulate the audience by drawing on familiar stars and music. Indeed, the musical has always been an intertextual form (drawing from the stage, previous films, popular music, etc.), but this tendency is elevated in Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film Moulin Rouge. Nicole Kidman's performance of "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" not only draws on the two versions of the song performed in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), but also Madonna's famous reinterpretation of Marilyn Monroe's performance in the music video for "Material Girl." Consider how the film draws on these references in terms of lyrics, costume, editing, framing, and choreography.

Moulin Rouge (2001) - Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

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Satine (Nicole Kidman) performs "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend"

from Moulin Rouge (2001)
Creator: Baz Luhrmann
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Posted by Kate Fortmueller