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Just because it is,
doesn`t mean it should be
Baz Luhrmann`s Australia

Baz Luhrmann`s Australia

With Saturn and Uranus opposing each other, nothing stays as it was - since the Saturn-Uranus opposition became valid in November 2008, we may experience how restriction and freedom, responsibility and the lack of bonds, familiar standards and renewal as well as trying to find a balance between those dualities gets into focus. Appropriately last year a movie hit the theatres, which seems to tell a big story about love and battle and self-determination in the manner of the forties' classical epic, but in fact very subtly changes the genre - of course with Saturn at hand in a respectful manner.

Like in his "red curtain" trilogy - Strictly Ballroom (1992), Romeo + Juliet (1996), Moulin Rouge (2001) - Baz Luhrmann's Australia especially in the beginning shows his signature postmodern references and ironic stylisation, e.g. in extreme close-ups of expressive faces, bordering on the burlesque, and in the protagonist's introduction within a clearly artificial setting, which declares Luhrmann's distance from narrative realism.

Even more evident than in the artful orchestration itself, the illustration of Saturn opposite Uranus becomes palpable in the love story between an English lady and an Australian drover. The story is told in a romantic and sometimes even magical manner by a little boy, who as a half-caste is rejected by society and in danger of being carried away to a re-education camp. The boy, who finds himself amidst a struggle of restrictive social standards (Saturn) and the lack of belonging (Uranus), chooses the lovers-to-be as his future parents. But the thrown together family has to go a long and dramatic way till it gets it's happy ending.

Saturn and Uranus as lovers?

The multiple variations in the challenging interaction (which is the effect of an opposition aspect) between Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces are expressively illustrated in the characters of the Victorian and austere English lady and the freedom-loving, detached social misfit. She shows Virgo-qualities in being always busy, always considerate about tidiness, propriety and manners, while he defies social conventions and eludes responsibility by passive resistance, thus evoking the Pisces-Uranus. Since a love story evolves between the two, according to astrological archetypes and an astrosemiotic interpretation they also have to be read here as Venus and Mars:

In Lady Ashley (Nicole Kidman makes the transformation from pale and aristocratic to very down-to-earth quite credible) we see Venus in Virgo - connected to Saturn - , who seems uptight and reserved as well as practical, ready to help and modest. Amidst the Australian outback she manages to create a beautiful and tasteful surrounding. She doesn't like to loose her self-control and appears to be insecure when things get emotional, but she can be (unintentionally) seductive and very devoted.

Drover, the man named after his job - which seems appropriate for the Pisces - quality of transcending individuality - , under his seemingly rough surface is a perceptive and in fact soft and tender Mars in Pisces, who uses his fighting power only for the benefit of weaker ones, respectively - because of his strong connection to Uranus - for freedom and the right to self-determination. (Played by Hugh Jackman, the character is deliberately and with a sense of humour staged as eye-candy for the female audience, thus again emphasizing his passivity.) Since Drover was married to an Aborigine, he became an outcast to the white community and so he withdrew from society into solitude and the company of other outsiders.

Chosen and renewed patterns

At first repelling then attracting each other, the sentence „Just because it is, doesn't mean it should be" is used by both characters describing and accompanying their effect on each other. Each influences and transforms the other, they change roles along the opposition axis and find their persona's positive and prolific aspects mirrored in the other. Thus the rigid lady suddenly courageously demands change and questions social standards, she becomes spontaneous and animated and challenges the passive outsider to actively defy social conventions. The detached rebel changes his distanced attitude, starts taking an interest and finally a place in a sort of community, he meddles, even settles down a little and accepts a kind of paternal responsibility.

The challenging interaction between Saturn and Uranus causes scrutinizing and judging of a status quo for it's balance between solid structure and free choice and it effects renewal in the - according to the value of individuality - "right" places. Inside the narrative of Luhrmann's Australia this process is supported and clearly illustrated by the love story, while on another plain of interpretation the interplay of Saturn and Uranus is very subtly mirrored by the staging of a conventional genre in a postmodern way.

Images: australiamovie.net

Vesna Ivkovic

Vesna Ivkovic Vesna Ivkovic studied literature and linguistics, sociology, philosophy and history and as well took a profound interest in psychology, mythology and different belief systems. Along the way she also explored various paths of body awareness such as the martial arts of Kung Fu, Dance, Yoga, Qi Gong and several other methods of body work and motion arts. In 1993 she discovered astrology as an instrument of knowledge and graduated in 2004 in Markus Jehle's and Petra Niehaus' master class at the Astrology Center Berlin. You can find out more about the author and her work on her own website www.astrosemiotics.de

by Vesna Ivkovic

The Cinemascope is meant to give an overview of current movies and their main themes from an astrosemiotical perspective (i.e.: regarding film as semiotic system and translating it into the astrological semiotic system). A well made movie not only has a story and a certain theme, it also provides a special atmosphere, a certain feeling and it draws us into its very own world. This basic quality that is contrived through characters, plot, setting and many other components also translates into one or more astrological principles. Quite simply: a fast-paced action-flick confronts us with plain Aries energy, a horror-movie evokes Scorpio-like abysmal depths and fears etc. We step out of the theatre and – if the film succeeded in sucking us in – find ourselves dwelling on and engaging in that special energetic quality.

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19-Mar-2018, 00:33 UT/GMT
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