Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Mandela The Long Wak to Freedom

By one of the interesting, and I suspect stage managed coincidences the death of Nelson Mandela was announced during the premier of the film Mandela The Long Walk to Freedom. These days Mandela is spoken of in the same breadth as Mahatma Ghandi who cut his teeth so to speak also as a lawyer in South Africa before honing his ideas into Satyagraha whose effectiveness contributed significantly to gaining independence for India and also similarly when it can to the state with power recognising the game was up so speak there was only on man to negotiate with, although in India there were two with Jinah the leader of the Muslims which divided India creating Pakistan.

On reviewer in the Guardian describes Mandela as a conservative film abut a radical although Mandel could also described as a conservative in the sense of being a traditionalist with a tribal village background from which he was able to break from in becoming a slick city lawyer, representing black countrymen during the worst years of Apartheid as the regime attempt to cling to its ruthless racism in the face if the increasing winds of change., The film pulls no punches revealing Mandela as a typical young man on the make interested in sex but not in marriage and good family life.

The script is adapted by William Nicholson from Mandela's 1995 autobiography with the British Actor Idris Elba in the title role and a performance just as good as the winning actor in 12 years a houses. He is courted by the revolutionary bombing throwing African National Congress and dawn in by events and once in he becomes an active participant in the violent struggle. Once captured he faces the death penalty for which he expects and it is the regime which works out it is better to isolated him rather than made a martyr.

It can be argued that Mandela only became a symbol rather than an important force change and that it was opinion in the West, especially by the UK and other European states which created the inevitability of change rather than the activities of the ANC.

Much has been made that on release he had and his second wife Winnie found themselves with very different outlooks on the future. Winnie, understandably wanted absolute power and revenge for the crimes committed by the White minority over the decades of brutality and humiliations while Mandela and years after year of think throughout the best way to lead his country if the opportunity was to come his way. It is for his statesmanship and reconciliation that he is rightly proclaimed as one of the great historical figures fro achieving statehood for black majority without the kind of bloodbath usually association with such situations with Syria the latest we are witnessing today.

The problem for someone like Mandela is that the choice he made, the right one, inevitably meant that others corrupt or seeking power for power’s sake would become the government. Only dictators with personal armies and a web of informers, secret police and elimination of all rivals for power can hope to remain in control of what happened for long especially as the more open the society the more the International companies and the nation governments will all attempt to cash in. The film was engaging and times, a good film but not a great one.









Sunday, 16 February 2014

Mission Impossible III

The programme has commenced with a huge array of A listers arriving as the BAFTA’s gain in recognition so there is time for more cat up of films with Mission Impossible III viewed on TV again during the past month with Tom Cruise

Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has retired from active field work for the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) and instead trains new recruits while settling down with his fiancée Julia Meade (Michelle Monaghan), a nurse at a local hospital who is unaware of Ethan's past. Ethan is approached by fellow IMF agent John Musgrave (Billy Crudup) about a mission for him: rescue one of Ethan's protégés, Lindsey Farris (Keri Russell), who was captured while investigating arms dealer Owen Davian (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Musgrave has already prepared a team for Ethan, consisting of Declan Gormley (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), Zhen Lei (Maggie Q), and his old partner Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames), in Berlin, Germany.

The team raids the warehouse where Lindsey is kept and collects two computer laptops during their escape. As they flee on a helicopter, Ethan discovers a micro-explosive implanted in Lindsey's head. Before Ethan can use a defibrillator to disable the device, it kills her. Ethan and Musgrave are reprimanded by IMF director Theodore Brassel (Laurence Fishburne). Ethan learns that Lindsey mailed him a postcard before her capture, and discovers a magnetic microdot under the stamp.

IMF technician Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) recovers enough from the damaged laptops to determine that Davian will be in Vatican City to obtain a mysterious object called the "Rabbit's Foot". Ethan plans the mission to capture Davian without seeking Brassel's or Musgrave's approval. Before leaving, he and Julia have an impromptu wedding at the hospital's chapel. The team successfully infiltrates Vatican City and captures Davian.
On the flight back to the United States, Davian threatens to kill Ethan and his loved ones. Ethan then threatens to drop Davian out of the plane (during which Davian overhears Luther calling Ethan by his first name). After landing, Ethan learns that the microdot contains a video of Lindsey warning that she believes Brassel is working with Davian. Then the convoy taking Davian across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is suddenly attacked, and Davian escapes. Ethan worries for Julia's safety and races to the hospital, arriving to find that she already has been taken. Davian calls Ethan to give him 48 hours to recover the Rabbit's Foot for Julia's life, but then Ethan is captured by IMF for his rogue actions.
Musgrave takes part in Ethan's interrogation, but discreetly mouths instructions for Ethan to lip-read about Shanghai, China where the Rabbit's Foot is located, and provides him with the means to escape IMF. Ethan and his team raid the building where the Rabbit's Foot is secured, and inform Davian that they have the Rabbit's Foot. Ethan goes to deliver the Rabbit's Foot alone, and is forced to take a tranquilizer. While he is sedated, a micro-explosive is implanted in his head. Ethan awakens to find Davian apparently holding Julia at gunpoint (the full scene opens the movie). Despite Ethan asserting that he brought the real Rabbit's Foot, Davian apparently kills Julia and leaves.
Musgrave then arrives and explains to Ethan that the woman killed by Davian was not the real Julia, but Davian's head of security (Bahar Soomekh) in a mask — the execution carried out for failing to protect Davian in Vatican City, and the mask was used in order to force Ethan to confirm the authenticity of the Rabbit's Foot — and that the real Julia is alive. Musgrave reveals himself as the mole, having arranged for Davian to acquire the Rabbit's Foot to sell to terrorist groups, after which IMF would have reason to launch a preemptive strike. Musgrave then asks Ethan about the microdot Lindsey sent. Musgrave dials his phone for Ethan to hear Julia's voice. Ethan then bites on Musgrave's hand and knocks him unconscious, ultimately freeing himself and stealing Musgrave's phone, using it to track down the location of Musgrave's last call. Ethan finds Davian there and pushes him into the path of a truck, but not before Davian triggers the micro-explosive. Freeing Julia, he instructs her to electrocute him in order to deactivate the explosive, and then revive him. He also instructs her in using a gun for her protection. While attempting to revive Ethan, Julia shoots and kills Musgrave. Julia successfully revives Ethan, and he explains his true IMF career to her as they leave.

Brassel congratulates Ethan as he leaves for his honeymoon with Julia. Ethan is unsure if he will return to the IMF. Brassel promises that he will tell Ethan what the Rabbit's Foot is if Ethan will promise to return. Ethan smiles and walks off with Julia.




The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street Cineworld 21st January 2014) is an immoral and decadent film indictment of investment although that investors were swindled out of millions does not cause me concern because the client were motivated by greed greed and more greed.

Wijipedia notes

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) narrates the film showing his monstrous success with his firm complete with ribaldry at work, a sumptuous home on the Gold Coast of Long Island and a trophy wife who is a former model. He then flashes back to 1987, where he began a low-level job at an established Wall Street firm. His boss Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) advises him to adopt a lifestyle of casual sex and cocaine to succeed. However, shortly after he passes his exam to become a certified stockbroker, he loses his job on account of the firm's bankruptcy as a result of Black Monday.

Now unemployed in an economy that is unaccomodating to stockbrokers and sufficiently discouraged to consider a new line of work, Jordan's wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) encourages him to take a job with a Long Island boiler room dealing in penny stocks, which are also largely ignored by regulators. Belfort impresses his new boss with his aggressive pitching style, and earns a small fortune for the boiler room and himself as penny stocks have a much higher commission than blue chips. Jordan also befriends Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a salesman living in the same apartment complex and they decide to go into business together. To facilitate this, his accountant parents are recruited as well as several of Jordan's friends, some of them experienced marijuana dealers. The basic method of the firm is a pump and dump scam. To cloak this, Belfort gives the firm the respectable WASP-ish sounding name of Stratton Oakmont. An article in Forbes dubs Jordan the "Wolf of Wall Street", and soon hundreds of ambitious young financiers flock to his company.

A decadent lifestyle of lavish parties, sex and drugs follows. Jordan regularly uses prostitutes and becomes addicted to cocaine and Quaaludes. FBI Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) begins investigating Stratton Oakmont. When Jordan meets Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) at one of his parties, he begins an affair with her, resulting in his divorce from Teresa. Jordan makes Naomi his second wife in an extravagant wedding and gives her a yacht aptly named Naomi, and soon they have a daughter, Skylar. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission works jointly with the FBI to intensify the Stratton Oakmont investigation.

Jordan instantly makes US$22 million on his securing the IPO of Steve Madden Ltd. To hide his money, Jordan opens a Swiss bank account with the corrupt banker Jean-Jacques Saurel (Jean Dujardin) in the name of Naomi's aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley), who is a British citizen and outside the reach of American authorities. He uses friends with European passports to smuggle cash to Switzerland. When Donnie gets into a public fight with Brad Bodnick (Jon Bernthal), who is one of their money couriers, and Brad is arrested, their scheme is nearly exposed.

Donnie offers Jordan a powerful brand of Quaaludes, hoping to ease the sting of the bad news. The pills are old and seem to have lost their potency, so they take huge doses to compensate. Jordan then receives a call from Bo Dietl, his private investigator, who insists Jordan call him back from a payphone. Jordan drives to a country club to phone Bo, who warns Jordan of Brad's arrest and that his house phone has been wiretapped. At this point, the Quaaludes finally kick in with overwhelming effect. Severely debilitated, Jordan drives back home to prevent Donnie from using his phone. When Jordan arrives home Donnie (who is also high) is on the phone with Saurel. Jordan fights Donnie to make him get off the phone and tells him he found out what happened between him and Brad. Donnie starts choking on ham and nearly suffocates. Jordan snorts cocaine to counteract the effect of the Quaaludes in order to help save Donnie's life.

With the shadow of law enforcement hanging over them, Jordan's father Max (Rob Reiner) attempts to convince his son to step down from Stratton Oakmont and escape the large amount of legal penalties. However, during his leaving party at the office, Jordan changes his mind and to the great acclaim of his employees vows to stay on.

Jordan, Donnie and their wives on a yacht trip to Italy learn that Emma has died of a heart attack. Over his grieving wife's objections, Jordan decides to sail to Monaco so they can drive to Switzerland without getting their passports stamped at the border and settle the bank account, but a violent storm capsizes their yacht. After their rescue, the plane sent to take them to Geneva is destroyed by a seagull flying into the engine, exploding and killing three people. Witnessing this, Jordan considers this a sign from God and decides to sober up.

Two years later, Denham arrests Jordan during the filming of an infomercial. Saurel, arrested in Florida over an unrelated charge, has told the FBI everything. Since the evidence against him is overwhelming, Jordan agrees to gather evidence on his colleagues in exchange for leniency.

Jordan is optimistic about his sentencing and expresses this to his wife. The encounter turns violent when Naomi tells Jordan she will divorce him and wants full custody of their children. Jordan throws a violent tantrum, gets high, and ends up crashing his car in his driveway during an attempt to abscond with their daughter.

The next morning, Jordan wears a wire to work. Jordan silently slips Donnie a note warning him about the wire. The note finds its way to Agent Denham, who arrests Jordan for breaching his cooperation deal. The FBI raids and shuts down Stratton Oakmont.

Despite this one breach, Jordan receives a much reduced sentence for his testimony and is sentenced to 36 months in a minimum security prison in Nevada. After his release, Jordan makes a living hosting seminars on sales technique How much is true though?


American Hustle

A film which I found difficult to get into but thought it has a great ending twist although thoroughly immoral from start to finish is American Hustle and where a number of actors could get an award, Christian Bale, Any Adams and Jennifer Lawrence.

American Hustle is a 2013 American crime comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell, from a screenplay written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell, loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early '80s It stars Christian Bale and Amy Adams as two con artists who are forced by an FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) to set up an elaborate sting operation on corrupt politicians, including the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner). Jennifer Lawrence plays the unpredictable wife of Bale's character.

Principal photography on American Hustle began on March 8, 2013 in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts, and New York City. The film had its nationwide release in the United States on December 20, 2013. The film received critical acclaim and has been a box office success. It received ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay, and became the second film since 1981 to be nominated in the four acting categories, the first being Silver Linings Playbook, also directed by David O. Russell and also starring Cooper and Lawrence. American Hustle won three Golden Globe Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and is nominated for 10 BAFTA Awards, among other achievements. We shall see!

Wikipedia story notes

In 1978, con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser have met, started a relationship, and are working together. Sydney has improved Rosenfeld's scams, posing as English aristocrat "Lady Edith Greensley". They are a well-matched couple, but Irving is hesitant to leave his adopted son Danny with his wife Rosalyn, who will not divorce him.
FBI agent Richard "Richie" DiMaso catches Irving and Sydney in a loan scam but offers to release them if Irving can line up four additional arrests. Sydney opposes the agreement. Richie believes Sydney is English but has proof that her claim of aristocracy is fraudulent. Sydney tells Irving she will manipulate Richie, distancing herself from Irving.

Irving has a friend pretend to be a wealthy Arab Sheikh looking for potential investments in America. An associate of Irving's suggests that the Sheikh do business with Mayor Carmine Polito of Camden, New Jersey. The popular mayor is campaigning to revitalize gambling in Atlantic City but has struggled to raise the necessary funds. Richie devises a plan to entrap Carmine despite the objections of his boss Stoddard Thorsen and Irving. Sydney helps Richie manipulate an FBI secretary into making an unauthorized wire transfer of $2,000,000. When Stoddard's boss, Anthony Amado, hears of the operation, he praises Richie's initiative, pressuring Stoddard to continue the operation.

Richie's over-eagerness to catch Carmine causes the mayor to leave their meeting. Irving convinces Carmine that the Sheikh is legitimate, expressing his dislike toward Richie, and the two become friends. Richie arranges for Carmine to meet the Sheikh at an airfield, forcing Stoddard into further expenses. Without consulting the others, Richie has Mexican-American FBI agent Paco Hernandez play the part of the Sheikh.

Carmine brings the Sheikh to a casino party, telling him that mobsters are there and it is a necessary part of doing business. Irving is surprised to see that the violent Mafia overlord Victor Tellegio, second-in-command to Meyer Lansky, is there, and wants to meet the Sheikh. Tellegio explains the business will need the Sheikh to become an American citizen, and Carmine will need to expedite the process, bribing officials if necessary. Tellegio also requires a $10,000,000 wire transfer, to prove the Sheikh's legitimacy. Richie agrees, eager to bring down Tellegio, while Irving realizes the operation is out of control.

Richie confesses his attraction to Sydney, but becomes confused and aggressive when she drops her English accent and admits to being American. Irving arrives to protect Sydney and tries to call off their deal with Richie, but Richie says that if they back out, Tellegio will learn of the scam and murder Sydney, Irving, Rosalyn, and Danny.

Rosalyn starts an affair with Pete Musane, a mobster she met at the party. She mentions her belief that Irving is possibly working with the Internal Revenue Service, so Pete threatens Irving, who promises to prove the Sheikh's investment is real. Irving later confronts Rosalyn, who admits she told Pete because she feels unloved. Rosalyn agrees to keep quiet about the plan but wants a divorce.

With Carmine's help, Richie and Irving entrap members of Congress into receiving bribes on videotape. Richie goes over Stoddard, convincing Amado that $10,000,000 is needed to entrap Tellegio, but only gets $2,000,000. A meeting is arranged at the offices of Tellegio's lawyer Alfonse Simone, but Tellegio does not show up. The operation continues, and Richie records an admission of criminal activities when Simone accepts the transfer.

Irving visits Carmine's house and admits to the scam but tells Carmine he has a plan to help him. Carmine blames Irving, saying he only wanted to improve New Jersey and throws Irving out, their friendship now destroyed, much to Irving's regret. Later, the money is missing, but an anonymous source offers to return it in exchange for immunity for Irving and Sydney and a reduced sentence for Carmine. Amado is willing to make the deal, but Richie objects. Irving suggests Richie either has the money or is incompetent for losing it—in fact, Irving and Richie never met with Tellegio's lawyer. Instead, Irving had a friend pose as the lawyer Simone to con Richie, giving Irving needed leverage, and keeping them from earning the wrath of the mob. Amado accepts the deal and removes Richie from the case, dropping him back into obscurity.

Irving and Sydney open a legitimate art gallery and move in together, while Rosalyn lives with Pete. Rosalyn shares custody of her son Danny with Irving. Tellegio accepts that Irving and Sydney deflected attention from him and leaves them to get on with their lives.




12 Years a Slave

A film expected to win the Oscar Best film but hopefully not the Baftas is 12 Years A Slave which I thought covered well trodden ground and a film about slavery today would have much more relevant. There is one outstanding perforamance who should get best supporting actress, Nupito Nyong’o as the slave girl mistress of the master Bendict Cumberbatch has to be in everything these days as Fassbender and Brad Pitt! The film is based on the book by Solomon Northup
From wikipedia
Solomon Northup (July 1808 – 1863?)was a free-born African American from New York, the son of a freed slave. A farmer and violinist, he owned a property in Hebron. In 1841 he was kidnapped by slave-traders, having been enticed with a job offer as a violinist. When he accompanied his supposed employers to Washington, DC, they drugged him and sold him as a slave. He was shipped to New Orleans where he was sold to a plantation owner in Louisiana. He was held in the Red River region of Louisiana by several different owners for 12 years, during which time his friends and family had no word of him. He made repeated attempts to escape and get messages out of the plantation. Eventually he got news to his family, who contacted friends and enlisted the Governor of New York, Washington Hunt, to his cause. He regained his freedom in January 1853 and returned to his family in New York.

Northup sued the slave traders in Washington, DC, but lost in the local court. District of Columbia law prohibited him as a black man from testifying against whites and, without his testimony, he was unable to sue for civil damages. Later, in New York State, the two men were charged with kidnapping but two years later the charges were dropped.

In his first year of freedom Northup published an account of his experiences in the memoir Twelve Years a Slave (1853). Northup also gave dozens of lectures throughout the Northeast about his experiences in order to support the abolitionist cause. The details of his death are uncertain.”








Blow Up

A different kind of film which I have seen several times because it sums the superficiality of an age is Antonioni’s Carlo Ponti production of Blow Up.

The plot is a day in the life of a glamorous fashion photographer (David Hemmings), inspired by the life of an actual "Swinging London" photographer, David Bailey. It begins after spending the night at a doss house where he has taken pictures for a book of art photos. He is late for a photo shoot with Veruschka at his studio, which in turn makes him late for a shoot with other models later in the morning. He grows bored and walks off, leaving the models and production staff in the lurch. As he leaves the studio, two teenage girls who are aspiring models ( Jane Birkin and Hills) ask to speak with him, but the photographer drives off to look at an antiques shop. Wandering into Maryon Park, he takes photos of two lovers. The woman ( Venessa Redgrave) is furious at being photographed. The photographer then meets his agent for lunch, and notices a man following him and looking into his car. Back at his studio, Redgrave arrives asking for the film, but he deliberately hands her a different roll.

She in turn writes down a false telephone number to give to him. His many enlargements of the black and white film are grainy but seem to show a body in the grass and a killer lurking in the trees with a gun. He is disturbed by a knock on the door, but it is the two girls again, with whom he has a romp in his studio and falls asleep. Awakening, he finds they hope he will photograph them but he tells them to leave, saying, "Tomorrow! Tomorrow!"

As evening falls, the photographer goes back to the park and finds a body, but he has not brought his camera and is scared off by a twig breaking, as if being stepped on. The photographer returns to his studio to find that all the negatives and prints are gone except for one very grainy blowup showing the body. After driving into town, he sees Redgrave and follows her into a club where The Yardbirds, featuring both Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck on guitar, are seen playing. At a drug-drenched party in a house on the Thames near central London, he finds both Veruschka – who had told him that she was going to Paris, and when confronted, she says she is in Paris – and his agent (Peter Bowles), whom he wants to bring to the park as a witness. However, the photographer cannot put across what he has photographed. Waking up in the house at sunrise, he goes back to the park alone, but the body is gone.

Befuddled, he watches a mimed tennis match, is drawn into it, picks up the imaginary ball and throws it back to the two players. While he watches the mime, the sound of the ball being played is heard. As the photographer watches this mimed match alone on the lawn, his image fades away, leaving only the grass as the film ends.” so you a film about nothing people. The delicious saraheoh Miles is also in the film








Moulin Rouge

And talking of Nicole Kidman I cannot believe i have not done a proper review before of Moulin Rouge 2001 the musical with Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent and about which I have something of what can be described as a history although I never visited the existing theatre club on any of my visits to Paris. The history is also in the form firm of the bohemian lifestyle which i hankered and never achieved, even in later life as artmanjosepgrech.

Now to the film which includes more well known tracks and several other musical films   put together,

"Nature Boy" – Toulouse
"The Sound of Music/Children of the Revolution" – Christian, The Bohemians, and the Green Fairy
"Lady Marmalade"/"Zidler's Rap (The Can-Can)"/"Smells Like Teen Spirit" – Zidler, Moulin Rouge Dancers, and Patrons
"Sparkling Diamonds"/"Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend"/"Material Girl" – Satine and Moulin Rouge Dancers
"Rhythm of the Night" – Valeria
"Your Song" – Christian
"The Pitch (Spectacular)" – Zidler, Christian, Satine, The Duke, and Bohemians
"One Day I'll Fly Away" – Satine
"Elephant Love Medley" – Christian and Satine
"Greek" – Satine
"Like a Virgin" – Zidler, The Duke, and Chorus Boys
"Come What May" – Christian, Satine, and Cast of Spectacular Spectacular
"El Tango de Roxanne" – The Argentine, Christian, Satine, and Moulin Rouge Dancers
"Fool to Believe" – Satine and Zidler
"The Show Must Go On" – Zidler, Satine, and Moulin Rouge Stagehands
"Hindi Sad Diamonds" – Nini Legs-in-the-Air, Satine, and the Cast of Spectacular Spectacular
"Come What May (Reprise)" – Satine and Christian
"Coup d'État (Finale)" – Cast of Spectacular Spectacular
"Nature Boy (Reprise)" – Toulouse

The following is a partial list of songs featured in the film along with the artist that popularized them.

"Nature Boy" – Nat King Cole, covered by David Bowie and remixed by Massive Attack for the soundtrack.
"The Sound of Music" – Mary Martin (and later by Julie Andrews) (from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical of the same name, featuring overdubbed theremin played by Bruce Woolley)
"The Lonely Goatherd" – also from The Sound of Music (but heard as instrumental)
"Lady Marmalade" – Labelle, covered for the film, by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, Missy Elliott, and Pink)
"Because We Can" – Fatboy Slim
"Complainte de la Butte" – Georges Van Parys and Jean Renoir covered by Rufus Wainwright
"Diamond Dogs" – David Bowie covered for the film by Beck.
"Galop Infernal (Can-can)" – Jacques Offenbach (tune for Spectacular, Spectacular)
"Gorecki" – Lamb
"Roxanne" – The Police (Title in film: "El Tango de Roxanne", combined with music "Tanguera" by Mariano Mores)
"Tanguera" – Mariano Mores (Title in film: "El Tango de Roxanne", combined with music "Roxanne" by The Police)
"Chamma Chamma" – Alka Yagnik (Incorporated in the film song titled "Hindi Sad Diamonds"; originally performed by Alka Yagnik in the 1998 Hindi film China Gate, composed by Anu Malik.

Elephant Love Medley
The following is a list of songs featured in the medley, along with the names of the writers and singers of the original.
"Love is Like Oxygen" by Sweet – Andy Scott and Trevor Griffin
"One More Night" by Phil Collins – Phil Collins
"Pride" by U2 – U2
"Heroes" by David Bowie – David Bowie
"I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton and later Whitney HoustonDolly Parton
"Your Song" by Elton John – Elton John and Bernie Taupin

The "Elephant Love Medley" also contains additional original lyrics that are unattributed

.In the year 1900, a depressed British writer named Christian begins writing on his typewriter ("Nature Boy"). One year earlier, Christian moved to the Montmartre district of Paris to become a writer among members of the area's Bohemian movement. He encounters performers led by Toulouse-Lautrec; his writing skills allow them to finish their proposed show, "Spectacular Spectacular", that they wish to sell to Harold Zidler, owner of the Moulin Rouge. The group arrives at the Moulin Rouge as Zidler and his "Diamond Dog Dancers" perform for the audience ("Lady Marmalade/Zidler's Rap (Can Can)/Smells Like Teen Spirit"). Toulouse arranges for Christian to see Satine, the star courtesan, in her private quarters to present the work, unaware that Zidler is promising Satine to the wealthy and unscrupulous Duke of Monroth, a potential investor in the cabaret ("Sparkling Diamonds" medley).

Satine mistakes Christian for the Duke, and dances with him before retiring to her private chamber with him to discuss things privately ("Rhythm of the Night), but soon learns he is just a writer; by this time Christian has fallen in love with her ("Your Song"). The Duke interrupts them; Christian and Satine claim they were practicing lines for "Spectacular Spectacular". With Zidler's help, Toulouse and the rest of the troupe pitch the show to the Duke with an improvised plot about an evil maharajah attempting to woo an Indian courtesan who loves a poor sitar player ("The Pitch (Spectacular Spectacular)"). The Duke backs the show on the condition that only he may see Satine. Satine contemplates on Christian and her longing to leave the Moulin Rouge to become "a real actress" ("One Day I'll Fly Away"). Christian goes back to Satine to convince her that she loves him ("Elephant Love Medley"). As the cabaret is converted to a theatre, Christian and Satine continue seeing each other under the pretence of rehearsing Satine's lines. The Duke becomes jealous and warns Zidler that he may stop financing the show; Zidler arranges for Satine to dine with the Duke that evening, but she falls ill from tuberculosis ("Górecki"). Zidler makes excuses to the Duke, claiming that Satine has gone to confession ("Like a Virgin"). Zidler learns that Satine does not have long to live. Satine tells Christian that their relationship endangers the show, but he counters by writing a secret love song to affirm their love ("Come What May").

As the Duke watches Christian rehearsing with Satine, Nini, a jealous performer, points out that the play is a metaphor for Christian, Satine and the Duke. Enraged, the Duke demands the ending be changed so that the courtesan ends up with the maharajah; Satine offers to spend the night with the Duke to keep the original ending. At the Duke's quarters, Satine sees Christian on the streets below, and realizes she cannot go through with this ("El Tango de Roxanne: "Roxanne/Tanguera"). The Duke tries to rape her, but she is saved by Le Chocolat, one of the cabaret dancers, and reunited with Christian, who urges her to run away with him. The Duke tells Zidler he will have Christian killed if Satine is not his. Zidler reiterates this warning to Satine, but when she refuses to return, he finally informs her she is dying ("A Fool to Believe"). Satine tells Christian they can no longer see each other as she will be staying with the Duke ("The Show Must Go On"). Christian tries following her, but is denied entry to the Moulin Rouge, and becomes depressed, even though Toulouse insists that Satine loves him.

The night of the show, Christian sneaks into the Moulin Rouge, intending to pay Satine to return his love just as the Duke paid for her ("Hindi Sad Diamonds"). He catches Satine before she steps on stage and demands she tell him she does not love him. Suddenly they find themselves in the spotlight; Zidler convinces the audience that Christian is the disguised sitar player. Christian denounces Satine and walks off the stage. From the rafters, Toulouse cries out, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return", spurring Satine to sing the song Christian wrote to express their love. Christian returns to the stage, joining her in the song. The Duke's bodyguard tries to kill Christian, but is thwarted, while the Duke's own attempt is stopped by Zidler. The Duke storms out of the cabaret as Christian and Satine complete their song ("Come What May (Reprise)", "Coup d'État (Finale)").
After the curtain closes, Satine succumbs to tuberculosis. She and Christian affirm their love before she dies. A year later the Moulin Rouge has closed down, and Christian is writing the tale of his love for Satine, a "love that will live forever" ("Nature Boy (Reprise)").

I went to see the 1952 film with Jose Ferrer as Henri Toulouse Lautrec when I just become a teenager, Later I discovered some Wallpaper made up of Lautrec Posters which was a great delight. I saw the film in Sutton in a packed theatre with noisy teenagers which ruined the experience. I have the DVD but still watch the film anytime its is shown on TV.