"A lot of reviewers like 'Australia.' And we're making people cry; I know because they write to us," he told the Hollywood Reporter during an interview at the Four Seasons Hotel. "But there are those that don't get it. A lot of the film scientists don't get it. And it's not just that that they don't get it, but they hate it and they hate me, and they think I'm the black hole of cinema. They say, 'He shouldn't have made it, and he should die.'"
Luhrmann doesn't tell us the names of the critics who are saying all of these horrible things but most knowledgeable movie fans have probably figured out that he's talking about world renowned film critic John Smith Strawman who reviews movies for nonexistantwebsite.com. Strawman is a very controversial figure in the world of film criticism who inspires such fear that he is rarely quoted by name though he is quoted often. If you ever hear anyone in the movie business say something along the lines of, "Some say that I shouldn't have taken a creative chance but I say those people are wrong" odds are they are quoting Strawman.
As you can see from Luhrmann's comment, Strawman is a real bastard. Luhrmann should DIE? What kind of jerk would say something like that? Baz Luhrmann goes on to explain what exactly drove Strawman into such an irrational, homicidal rage:
"This is not (simply) a romantic comedy for 40-year-old women or action movies for 17-year-old boys, and that's not OK with some people. It's not OK for people to come eat at the same table of cinema. But you look at movies like 'Gone With the Wind' and Old Hollywood classics, and they don't fit in any box.
"Corny Hollywood movies from the '40s freak out (the film scientists)," he added.
Well, after reading that, I'm not sure if John Smith Strawman is thoroughly evil or just incompetent at his job. I just reread Strawman's review of the film and, sure enough, he wrote, "What I really wanted to see was something that fit into a neatly defined category, a romantic comedy for 40-year-old women or action movie for 17-year-old boys. Australia reminds me too much of Gone With The Wind and, as a film scientist, that totally freaks me out." Baz Luhrmann is right. Strawman didn't reject the movie because it was bad. He just didn't understand it because he's a stuck up, tightassed Film Scientist, a term I believe was created to describe movie fans who have insight and worldview similar to that of Nazi war criminals.
None of this is whining on Baz Luhrmann's part, mind you. We know this because he says so.
"I'm not whining, because when you do what I do, you expect to be covered in mud. But there seems to be a lot of misinformation."
Misinformation? Oh no, what could it be? Did that asshole Strawman say that watching Australia would make a man's urine turn blue and cause women to grow facial hair?
Among those pieces of misinformation is box office, he said; Luhrmann noted that "Moulin Rouge" has been on a similar pace as his latest epic, and that sticking it out for the long haul was not an uncommon experience for him.
Well, duh! Who the hell would think it was a good idea to use the number of people who've actually put down money to see the movie as a way to judge whether or not this is a movie that people want to see? A certain Mr. J.S. Strawman thinks that, that's who. In a final comment, Luhrmann really lets Strawman have it.
"I'm used to the waves crashing around me. And what I do is stick to a craggy rock as they keep coming. And if you stick to it long enough someone else will stick to it, too, and then someone else and then someone else."
Yeah, Baz! That's how you do it. Not even Strawman could argue with what, to those incapable of deep thought, looks like pretentious gibberish. You just keep crashing with those waves against the rocks in the places where those rocks are and, eventually, we will all be waves crashing against rocks, or rocks being crashed on by waves, or...sorry, I'm not as deep a thinker as Baz Luhrmann is.
You have a choice, world. You can believe Baz Luhrmann when he tells you, against the opinions of John Smith Strawman as well as all other evidence, that Australia is actually awesome or you can keep believing your lying eyes. Some would say that we should simply surrender to the Strawmans of the world and allow them to shove red hot pokers so far up our asses that our eyes get hot. I'm guessing I know what Baz Luhrmann would say to that (probably something about waves and rocks). The choice is yours. We shall await your reply.