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Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge on Boulevard de Clichy (Paris, France)
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Moulin Rouge (French for "red mill") is a traditional cabaret, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller who already owned the Paris Olympia. Situated in the red light district on Boulevard de Clichy near Montmartre, Paris, France, it is famous for the large red imitation windmill on its roof. The design of the Moulin Rouge is often imitated by other night clubs worldwide.

Six movies have been made with the title Moulin Rouge
  1. In 1928 directed by Ewald André Dupont
  2. In 1934 directed by Sidney Lanfield[?] - Lucille Ball appeared as a chorus girl.
  3. In 1939 directed by André Hugon[?]
  4. In 1944 directed by Yves Mirande[?]
  5. In 1952 directed by John Huston - Seven Oscar nominations including two wins.
  6. In 2001 directed by Baz Luhrmann - The only one with an exclamation mark at the end of the title.

The Moulin Rouge produced in 2001 stars Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor, is directed by Baz Luhrmann, and is distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is a colourful musical set in Montmartre, Paris, France. The story is loosely based on that of the opera La Boheme, including references to the "Bohemian" subculture.

It has a storyline and structure that is said to be inspired and influenced by Bollywood movies: exuberant music, colourful visuals, elaborate sets and costumes, simple story line with a simple conflict, heroine with melodramatic disease bravely hiding it from hero, two-dimensional characters, and the songs themselves (see commentary). In fact it includes a popular Hindi movie song near the end. It won two Oscars for 2001:

It was nominated for a further six Academy Awards, though notably not for Best Director:


This movie is also interesting because of the so-called intellectual property angle. Some of the singing dialogues in this movie use a technique similar to one sometimes found in Bollywood movies: each line of the song dialogue is an identifiable verse from some popular song. To a lay person, this appears to be an great example of the fair use concept of copyright. However, some people would consider it difficult for a small producer (not associated with the Big Five record labels) to attempt such use in the current litigious climate.

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