Production designer Catherine Martin and her husband, Australian director, Baz Luhrmann quickly made names for themselves right out of the gate by making visually bold films together starting with their first film Strictly Ballroom. They have collaborated on five feature films that continue to sparkle with vibrant, pop maximalism. While not every film has been a critical darling, every film has been visually beautiful and well executed.
Romeo + Juliet has always stood out for me as a shining beacon of what can be accomplished when you think outside of the box. From the scintillating reds in Moulin Rouge to the bombastic excess of The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin has always shown she has a knack for audacious and daring production design. Explore the breadth of their work together below.
Strictly Ballroom (1992)
Logline: A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner.
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Logline: Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona Beach still retaining its original dialogue.
MOULIN ROUGE! (2001)
Logline: A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets in this stylish musical, with music drawn from familiar 20th century sources.
Logline: Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot.
THE GREAT GATSBY (2013)
Logline: A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.
Production Designer: Catherine Martin
Art Director: Ian Gracie
Set Decorator: Beverley Dunn
Baz Luhrmann and Production Designer Catherine Martin Discuss The Great Gatsby
Which Baz Luhrmann film is your favourite? How do you feel about Baz Luhrmann and his production designer Catherine Martin’s collaborations? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.