Baz Luhrmann rose to fame with his fabulous film Strictly Ballroom (1992) – his Ballroom Dance teaching mother must have been so proud! He followed this quirky and enchanting debut with Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Moulin Rouge! (2001) both of which had visually rich styles and all singing and dancing performances that captured a ‘Red Curtain’ dramatically theatrical style that Baz has become iconic for. He wanted to promote audience participation in movies as much as possible, and his films have become classics as a result.
Luhrmann was born 17th September 1962 in Sydney, but grew up in Herons Creek, rural New South Wales, Australia. His father was a gas station owner who became a movie theatre owner, giving Baz plenty of exposure to films from an early age. He started out in theatre, attending NIDA and becoming an actor (he was featured in the 1982 film Winter Of Our Dreams) but quickly moved into directing theatre, notably he created the Six Years Old Company and directed La Boheme and A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as producing several versions of Strictly Ballroom for the stage.
When he emerged as a film director in 1992 with Strictly Ballroom he created an instant fanfare, winning the Cannes Prix de la Jeunesse award that year. He went on to win eight Australian Film Institute awards and launched the film in the USA in 1993 with much success. Romeo and Juliet followed in 1996, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes, and performed well at the box office. His creative collaborator Catherine Martin became his wife in 1997 and they went on to have two children together.
His next big screen success was in 2001 with Moulin Rouge starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor which won three Golden Globes and received eight Academy Award nominations, winning two Oscars for art direction and costuming. The following year he won two Tonys for a Broadway production of La Boheme and in 2004 he famously made a long form Chanel No.5 advertisement also with Nicole Kidman starring.
2008 saw Baz release another Nicole film – Australia. He then found a new role for Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2013 The Great Gatsby also starring Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire.
Baz Luhrmann Filmography
Writer & Director
2013 The Great Gatsby
2001 Moulin Rouge!
1996 Romeo + Juliet
1992 Strictly BallroomShare: