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1974 vs. 2013 Gatsby: Honors Dec. 2016

Hailee Fischer
12:48 PM ET (US)
Almost everybody in the world loves how Leonardo DiCaprio acts on the screen. Most of the time he brings a spectacular performance that enhances any movie. However, in the 2013 film version of The Great Gatsby, Leo’s performance is almost too spectacular. In this version he was portrayed as some type of godly figure that needed Daisy to complete his vast collection of riches. This is unlike the first film version of 1974 when Robert Redford played Jay Gatsby. Robert portrayed Gatsby as a sad, lonely man who was desperate for Daisy’s love. Since Robert portrayed Gatsby more accurately than Leo, I prefer him as Jay Gatsby. For example, Robert was true to the part in the scene where Gatsby first meets Nick because he was very cool and calm about it. While in the 2013 version, Leo’s introduction as Gatsby was very dramatic, but it’s not all his fault that the scene was so gaudy.
Kärin RennerPerson was signed in when posted
07:33 PM ET (US)
Choose ONE of these FOUR options. Please post by class time on Wednesday 12/21.

1. In 8-10 sentences, explain major differences you see in the two men that play Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio). Who did it better? Which do you prefer? WHY? Provide specific examples.

Here is a sample sentence or two from a student in last year’s class: Robert Redford in 1974 comes across as an adult with a weird fixation on this one woman. Leonardo DiCaprio in 2013 comes across as a man-child trapped in a world he refuses to understand and is somehow latched onto the “idea” of a Daisy that’s something much more than the real Daisy can sustain.

Here is another sample sentence from a student last year: When you watch both versions back to back and have a little time to think about the character of Jay Gatsby, you’re forced to confront the fact that he’s a stalker. Which one did that better? I think….


2. Skim the list of LIFE LESSONS from The Great Gatsby found on today's homework page. (QuickTopic blocked the site!)
Choose at least TWO of these life lessons that resound most loudly for you when it comes to the movie. In 8-10 sentences, write about which movie does a better job presenting these LIFE LESSONS.

3. In 8-10 sentences, discuss at least 5 key differences between the two movies. What do you think is the MAJOR difference? If you had only watched the 1974 and/or 2013 movie and not read the book, what might be the result? What would you think or what would you miss?

Here is a sample from a student in last year’s class: I think the key difference between the two films is "subtlety". Although the 1974 version has been criticized, it is far superior as a film to the 2013 version. The 1974 film is more faithful to the novel and the characters are closer to the characters and emotions as described by Fitzgerald. In the 2013 movie, the emotions are just too over the top.

Here is another sample from a student from last year: What I love most about the 1974 movie is that it’s extremely faithful to the book in both style and story. Much of the dialogue is word for word from Fitzgerald. Unlike the 2013 movie, scenes may be left out, but very little is invented in the 1974 version like it was in the 2013. Seriously, Nick's an author and is seeing a psychologist?


4. Look at this site for side by side film shots of the 1974 and 2013

Write 8-10 sentences comparing either the music or the cinematography between 1974 and 2013.

Here is a sample from last year: Please just stop the madness. Anyone seriously comparing the two films ought to have their head examined. There’s just one ragtime or jazz-era song in the new movie. The rest of the soundtrack is hip hop!!!!
Edited 12-18-2016 07:55 PM

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