Baz Luhrmann

Baz Luhrmann

Australia the movie

Baz Luhrmann official website


Mark Anthony "Baz" Luhrmann (born 17 September 1962) is an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated Australian film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Personal life

Luhrmann was born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, to a ballroom dance teacher/dress shop owner mother, and Leonard Luhrmann, a farmer. He was raised in Herons Creek, a tiny rural settlement in northern New South Wales, where his father ran a petrol station and a movie theatre, both of which would influence his son's filmmaking career. He attended St. Joseph's Hasting Regional School, Port Macquarie 1975-1978 and Sydney Grammar School. He graduated from St Augustines College in Sydney, after leaving St Pauls College at the end of Year 10. His nickname was given to him due to a perceived resemblance to the character Basil Brush.

Luhrmann married Catherine Martin, the production designer on all of his films, on 26 January 1997. They have two children, Lillian Amanda Luhrmann and William Alexander Luhrmann.


After theatrical successes, including the original stage version of "Strictly Ballroom", Luhrmann moved into film, and has directed four so far:

Strictly Ballroom (1992), starring Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice
Romeo + Juliet (1996), starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes
Moulin Rouge! (2001), starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor
Australia (2008), starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman

His first three films are now formally marketed as 'The Red Curtain Trilogy'.

]Awards and nominations
Luhrmann received Directors Guild of America and Golden Globe nominations for Best Director - Motion Picture for his work on Moulin Rouge!, but did not receive an Oscar nomination for directing (Academy Award host Whoopi Goldberg joked "I guess it just directed itself"). However it did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.

Future projects

Luhrmann is reported to be directing the film version of the hit musical Wicked. It has also been confirmed that he has acquired rights to The Great Gatsby, which will be his next project.


Luhrmann has cited Italian grand opera as a major influence on his work including Moulin Rouge!. He has also listed other theatrical styles like Bollywood films as having had an influence on his work like Moulin Rouge!. Luhrmann was a ballroom dancer as a child, and his mother taught ballroom dancing, which was an inspiration for Strictly Ballroom.

Other work

A young Baz Luhrmann can be seen in an early acting role in the 1981 film Winter of Our Dreams, directed by John Duigan. Baz has a small part playing opposite Judy Davis.

In 1990, Luhrmann staged his interpretation of Benjamin Britten's version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, set in colonial India, for the Australian Opera. After successful seasons in Sydney and Melbourne, the production went on to win the Critics' Prize at the Edinburgh Festival. Music extracts can be heard on his album Something for Everybody.

The CD, Something for Everybody, was released in 1997 and features music from Luhrmann’s films and operas. Including his version of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

In 2003 Luhrmann brought his production of Puccini's La bohème to The Broadway Theatre in New York City. Originally produced in Sydney in 1990, once in New York it eventually garnered 7 Tony Award Nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Direction (Luhrmann), Best Orchestrations (Nicholas Kitsopoulos), Best Costume Design (Catherine Martin) and won Best Set Design.(Catherine Martin), Best Lighting Design (Nigel Levings), and the special award for Excellence in Theater (Principal Ensemble Cast).

In 2004, Baz Luhrmann directed a lavish multi-million-dollar commercial for Chanel N° 5 titled N° 5 the Film, inspired by his Red Curtain trilogy, starring Nicole Kidman and Rodrigo Santoro. Luhrmann told interviewer Charlis Rose on Charlie Rose that he based the commercial on the 1953 film Roman Holiday.

Luhrmann is also credited with a 1999 UK number one single, released by EMI's Catalogue division entitled "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)".
He directed a video for John Paul Young's Love is in the Air which was re-released to coincide with the release of Strictly Ballroom (in which the song was featured prominently).

He assisted in the election campaign of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating in 1993.

Luhrmann was appointed an Ambassador for the Australian Theatre for Young People in 2005.

In 2008, he was tasked by prime minister Kevin Rudd to make new ads to promote Australia as a tourist destination. (Credit: Wikipedia).



Moulin Rouge

Australia the movie

Actors, Producers and Directors

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