Happy love day, everyone! Whether single or otherwise engaged, Valentine’s day is a great day to curl up under a fuzzy, warm blanket and have a cozy day (or night) watching movies that make you believe in love. Today I’m writing about Moulin Rouge!, not just because it’s a great love story, but because Sean and I are in Paris and to celebrate our own VD, we’re taking in a show at the actual Moulin Rouge! Located in the Pigalle section of Montmartre, it was the birth place of the can-can, a seductive dance done by courtesans with split knickers. It was a place where the rich could “slum it” in a safe and fashionable district. And yes, they really had a huge elephant statue right in the middle of the garden, just like in the movie. This past October it celebrated its 125th anniversary. Even the movie is aging – can you believe it’s already 14 years old?
Filming was halted for two weeks in November 1999 after Nicole Kidman fractured two ribs and hurt her knee while rehearsing a dance routine for the movie. If she’s being filmed from the chest up, it’s probably because she’s sitting in a wheelchair.
The necklace worn by Satine was made of real diamonds and platinum and was the most expensive piece of jewelery ever specifically made for a film – wowza! The Stefano Canturi necklace was made with 1,308 diamonds (!), weighing a total of 134 carats and was worth an estimated cool million.
Originally, the green fairy was going to be a long-haired muscly guy , which Ozzy Osbourne was tapped to voice. Obviously it was changed along the way to the current “Tinker Bell” incarnation, played by the fabulous Kylie Minogue, but Osbourne still gives voice to the fairy’s guttural scream when it turns evil. How cool is that?
The movie was shot largely at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, with no location filming at all, which means the Paris landscape was digitally produced and the two longest visual effects shots (as of 2001) appear in this film. So while famously Parisian, it’s also famously fake.
However you’re celebrating today, and even if you’re not celebrating at all, I wish you love, happiness, popcorn, and movies. I’m off to the Moulin Rouge with my sweetie, and I’ll let you know if they still wear the split knickers 😉