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So if you’ve seen and or read the Great Gatsby you’ll know it’s all about the american dream and the haves vs. the have nots. The climax of which is a priveleged man telling a nouveau rich man that money aside there is an inherent difference between those who earn a fortune and those who are born to it. The reason I am writing this is because while Gatsby ends poorly for the have nots; Luhrman adds a little wink to the audience that challenges that status quo. In the moment where Gatsby and Nick Carraway are heading into manhattan for lunch their car passes a converitble filled with young, black and obviously nouveau rich people listening to Jay Z’s the anthem and drinking champagne. Moreover they are drinking Moet Champagne because as most people know it’s no longer okay to drink Cristal. If you don’t know this little bit of pop history the story basically goes that in an interview the owner of the company that makes Cristal Champagne basically said he didn’t want the kind of business that hip hop was bringing it. Which was A) stupid because hip hop had made their product a household name and B) relevant because it was an instant of old money telling new money that they weren’t good enough for their fancy things. However jokes on them because new money won, Jay Z has become a hugely influential cultural figure and most people under the age of 30 wouldn’t consider really drinking that champagne (not that we could afford em anyways). And now in this stylized version of the mega glamorous party scene of the twenties we have a moment of branding that reinforces what brand of champagne is tied to our idea of this period of glanour an excess.
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