MAINTENANCE – The Australian director tells how, through the character of Elvis, it was the America of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s that he had the idea of exploring.
Nine years later Gatsby the magnificentAustralian director Baz Luhrmann was back at Cannes with Elvis. More than a biopic, a flamboyant and uncompromising portrait of the King.
LE FIGARO. – Elvis reminds Amadeus, by Milos Forman. Is that a reference you had in mind?
Baz LUHRMANN. – Absolutely. Doing a biopic on Elvis didn’t interest me. I wanted to treat it like Shakespeare, who takes a historical figure and makes it something else. Amadeus by Milos Forman had a huge influence on me. It’s not so much a film about Mozart as about jealousy. Salieri does not accept that God gave such genius to a man like Amadeus. Salieri is the “bad guy” in the story, but he’s also the only one who truly understands Mozart’s genius. In the first scene where Salieri meets Amadeus, he sees him fooling around with a girl. He considers him an extravagant child before hearing his music. He then raises his eyes to the sky and addresses God: “You…