Great Gatsby to get the Moulin Rouge treatment

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It was a novel that captured the champagne-fuelled follies of the frivolously wealthy, moments before America's "boom time" bubble burst and Wall Street came crashing down to expose the spiritual vacuum of the times.

F Scott Fitzgerald's seminal novel The Great Gatsby may have been describing the iniquities of the Jazz Age just before the country slid into the Great Depression but the award-winning Australian director, Baz Luhrmann, yesterday said Fitzgerald's story resonated with the economic excesses of today.

So much so, that he is set to make a modern version of the novel, which will allude to the present financial crisis that has brought to a grinding halt the bling-laden consumer culture that was spawned in the 1980s and 1990s.

The director, who has bought the rights to Fitzgerald's novel, suggested his version would contain an undercurrent of social commentary, as was the case with his latest film, Australia, and its treatment of the issue of the stolen generations.

The novel was completed in 1926 and at the time it was seen as the most unflinching study of American excess during the prohibition era in Roaring Twenties. It told the story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, as The New York Times remarked, "Gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession". Luhrmann said his film version would serve as a historic study of "Where we are, and where we've been", referring to the recession that is advancing across America...

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