'ELVIS'

The Baz Luhrmann Movie Sydney Premiere

June 5, 2022 - EIN was there!

Spotlight by Piers Beagley


It was as far back at May 2014 that EIN first reported that fellow-Australian Baz Luhrmann had started working on his concept for a stunningly fabulous ELVIS movie. At the time there were plenty of skeptics that didn't believe that this Academy award-winning director of The Great Gatsby, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Australia and Moulin Rouge could be interested in an ELVIS biopic but we were proved right.

Last night, Sunday June 5 2022, EIN's Piers Beagley attended the ELVIS Sydney Premiere and finally got to see this beautiful Baz Luhrmann masterpiece..

The Sydney Premiere of Baz Luhrmann's ELVIS movie was presented in the glorious Sydney State Theatre where Luhrmann's first film 'Strictly Ballroom' happened to be featured thirty years ago at the 1992 Sydney Film Festival.

EIN's Piers Beagley was also there in 1992 and was lucky enough to be part of the 2022 ELVIS celebration.

The evening was part of Sydney's VIVID festival and before the actual Premiere, director Baz Luhrmann spent an hour in conversation discussing his life in movies, as well as his thoughts on ELVIS.

This is part of what he had to say.. 

Baz Luhrmann: My least favourite expression is “the problem with that is.. ” whereas I just need to say Yes and find the solution. To be honest while you are going to see 'ELVIS' tonight, I don't think I ever truly finish a movie, it just gets taken away from me by the distributors, like a baby! In my mind you can always do more. But there is a line you cross at various test screenings when you know it's working... and can go out into the world.

I am always creating stuff and I don't see myself as a “film maker” per-se, I see my life as a creative venture. I come from a very small country town in New South Wales.  I've always loved musicals and we watched old-time movies on TV.  I lived in a great world of fantasy. I was always terribly enthusiastic but when you're 15 being an enthusiast is incredibly uncool!

For my films I pick up a primary myth, using it as some underlying structure. At one point, for instance, I was thinking of setting ‘Moulin Rouge’ in Studio 54 for instance! But in the end Paris seemed right. However I need to find the validity in my idea and then discover how can find a worth in putting it out there as a film.

The pathway I chose for the film ELVIS was through his relationship with the Colonel. But I feel that the film is more like Shakespeare were you take a historical figure and explore the idea - more about the whole context rather than only Elvis. I can parallel it with the movie ‘Amadeus’ (by Miloš Forman) which was about Mozart but where the main character was in fact the mentally disturbed Salieri who recounts the story.  

So ELVIS is a way of exploring America in 50s 60s and 70s and Elvis was of course culturally at the centre of America from the 50s through to the 70s where having grown up in Tupelo the black culture and black music were totally important in his life. There are two key points or theories.

One is the haphazard chaos theory where all of these different characters get jumbled up together and "new stuff" happens – like Elvis. Whether it is the Apple computer or the confluence of popular culture out of which something new grows. The other is The Sell, the roll-up roll-up snake-oil marketing and enthusiasic push-for-the-money sell. When those two things are in balance it is in great thing. But a few years ago I thought that things had changed and I felt that “The Sell” failed, and failed supporting the creative part, failed the substance part of it. It is a sort of Humanity versus pure Energy.  There's the obvious part in the film that I included where The Col invents major merchandising.  That in the 50s was a big change.  

ELVIS as a person was obviously a tricky subject, as no one can be the real Elvis. Even as I was developing the film I set myself a rule that I thought might get me out of actually making it (laughing) - which was that I wouldn't do it unless I could find an “Elvis”. I really didn't believe I could find an actor, a perfect performer who could represent the real Elvis. Until I found Austin Butler…

I don’t make subtle, naturalistic films I leave that to others. I like to challenge. I like bright colours and very fast-edited cuts, surrealistic zooms and loud challenging soundtracks. I like to create a line and push the audience to either happily go over that line for the wild ride - or if not they can opt out. And that’s OK, my films are not for everyone! (Laughing). I feel that there is a definite moment towards the beginning of all my movies where the audience knows that they are on-board, ready for the ride and then they know that they will be thrilled and entertained by the whole film.

I hope that you all feel this with ELVIS at this Sydney Premiere. Thank You.

The Sydney crowds packed the streets for a glimpse of the movie's stars who arrived via the Red Carpet.

.

The Sydney Media were out in force to celebrate the international cast of the movie, including Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and Australia's Olivia DeJonge, along with Director Baz Luhrmann.

 

.

Baz Luhrmann, Tom Hanks with Producer Schuyler Weiss

.

.

.

 

After the Red Carpet, Baz Luhrmann came on stage to not only welcome the stars to Sydney but also to thank the cast and crew before showing the movie.

Then Tom Hanks came on and thanked Sydney for putting on such a special light show for him.. (it was actually all part of the Sydney Vivid festival).

Hanks noted that Ron Howard is now also working in Queensland - “Everybody's making movies in Australia. We had a great time it was absolutely marvellous. We could do this at the end but right now why don't we all have a quick sing-a-long, you know the Elvis song, "Wise men says, only fools rush in..."..

and at that point the whole auditorium - along with Tom Hanks and Baz Luhrmann - started singing 'Can't Help Falling in Love'. Who knew that my night would include singing an Elvis song with Tom Hanks!

at the end Baz Luhrmann rightly noted.. “Bam!” that was so good!”

Baz Luhrmann then welcomed Olivia DeJonge "this actor got the role because she was the best, a new Australian discovery, a true new Star" and again discussed Austin Butler, "I really didn't believe I could find an actor who could represent the real Elvis. Until I found Austin Butler..."

Austin Butler apologised for being somewhat stage-shy but noted..“Thank you all for being here I had the most incredible two years of my life, being able to live in Australia to make this film. It means the world to me, being back here. Thank you and I hope you love the film”.

EIN reviews the film tomorrow....


EIN 'ELVIS" Movie Spotlight: Baz Luhrmann's new biopic 'ELVIS' will finally be released to the cinemas on June 24 2022.
It was as far back at May 2014 - eight years ago - that EIN first reported that fellow-Australian Baz Luhrmann had started working on his concept for a stunningly fabulous ELVIS movie. At the time there were plenty of skeptics that didn't believe that this Academy award-winning director of The Great Gatsby, Strictly Ballroom, Romeo + Juliet, Australia and Moulin Rouge could be interested in an ELVIS biopic but we were proved right.
In our in-depth spotlight EIN presents all the stories, interviews and drama that have accompanied this brilliant achievement since those early days of 2014.


Compiled by EIN / Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN June 2022 - DO NOT COPY IMAGES OR INFO WITHOUT PERMISSION.
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

Click here to comment on this article


Other EIN Spotlights you might be interested in...

'The Dark Side Of Colonel Parker' - EIN Spotlight: June 26th 2009 is a special date that commemorates four unique events of the Elvis World.
1. The 100th Birthday of Colonel Parker.
2. The 32nd Anniversary of Elvis' final concert in Indianapolis.
3. The 30th Anniversary of the death of Elvis' father, Vernon Presley.
4. The 30th Anniversary of the revelation to Elvis’ estate that Colonel Parker was still fleecing his client.

Although comedian Nipsy Russell stated that "Every entertainer should go to bed at night and pray he finds a Colonel Tom Parker under his bed when he wakes up in the morning" - is that really the truth?
It is a fact that after Elvis' death an official investigation found that "both Colonel Parker (and RCA) acted in collusion against Presley's best interests. Colonel Parker was guilty of self-dealing and overreaching and had violated his duty to both Elvis and to the estate."
While there is no doubt that Elvis and The Colonel's story is extremely complex, in this in-depth Spotlight EIN takes a look at the darker side of Colonel Tom Parker - and includes plenty of insights from Elvis’ colleagues and friends.
. Go here for this fascinating investigation- and also Have Your Say.
(Spotlight, Source;EIN)

‘Bicycle Rider: Thoughts on The Searcher’: One of EIN’s most insightful contributors George Smith has written a stunning essay on the new HBO documentary ‘Elvis Presley: The Searcher’.
In his review ‘George Smith’ captures the essence of the narrative, Zimny’s production decisions and notes the difficulty of having to create a documentary about Elvis’ music and having to keep it under 4 hours.
His review includes,   
“The genius of the documentary though, is in its decision to present Elvis Presley to all viewers in a new and unexpected fashion. For the devotees this is realised through the constant use of new film (professional and amateur) and studio outtakes: it keeps the faithful on their toes and creates the impression of seeing and hearing Elvis anew. This is why Zimny insisted on using the alternative Aloha, the handheld “Trilogy” and “Never Been to Spain”, the “Burning Love” rehearsal, the “If I Can Dream” outtake, the off-air segments from ’68, the non-masters of “Lonely Man”, “Hurt”, “Suspicious Minds”, “Loving You”.. It is a deliberate and clever approach which was much appreciated by this writer.”
Go here to “Bicycle Rider: Thoughts on The Searcher”  this is essential reading.
(Spotlight; Source;GeorgeSmith/ElvisInfoNet)


Dec 3, 2018- ‘Behind The Music- Elvis 68 Television Special’: It was FIFTY YEARS AGO TODAY - that Elvis' stunning 68 NBC Television Special was broadcast in the USA. The programme would become one of the highest rated of the year, Elvis re-discovered his roots, Col Parker was stunned by the reception and Elvis was empowered to choose Memphis' American Sound Studio for his next serious recording session. A string of top-ten Billboard Hits beckoned and his life and ours would never be the same.
EIN contributor Dennis Laverty has compiled a unique documentary called “Behind The Music- Elvis 68 Television Special” to celebrate this great day.
It tells the story of the 'Comeback Special' by those that were there examining the How and Why Elvis career came to this creative point where he desparately needed to do the show. There is discussion of production numbers, sit down, standup shows, the '69 rebirth plus much more.
This special includes ELVIS interviews from 'On Tour'
and features Scotty Moore, DJ Fontana, Chris Bearde, Steve Binder, Billy Strange, Tanya Lemani Little Egypt, Anita Mann (choreographer), Bill Belew, Earl Brown plus plenty of old compiled interviews from all too many who have sadly passed away.
EIN thanks Dennis Laverty for the input.
Click here to Vimeo. - Sit Back And Celebrate this special day - The video runs around 2 1/2 hours.
(Spotlight, Source;DL/ElvisInfoNet)

'Elvis: The Searcher - Additional Stories' Spotlight: Like all too many serious Elvis fans Dennis Laverty felt let-down by the lack of seventies content in the HBO 'Elvis The Searcher' documentary. Luckily for us he has produced a lovely documentary "Elvis Presley: The Searcher - Additional Stories Not in the Original Film" that anyone can view on Vimeo.
He writes, "I really enjoyed The Searcher documentary, but after watching I wished they would have made it 4 hours. The 1950's skipped what pushed Elvis over-the-top when he appeared on TV, two of his best films and soundtracks (Loving You & Jailhouse Rock), and the backlash he took with his rock and roll Christmas Album. The 1960s unfortunately glossed over American Sound, especially Elvis taking a risk with 'In The Ghetto'.

The 1970s disappointed when nothing was discussed about Elvis' only concept album (Elvis Country), nor 'He Touched Me' (they could have included unreleased Elvis on Tour footage of gospel segment) and finally with David Porter one of the Execs of the film from Stax Records that nothing was discussed about Elvis' returning to Memphis and STAX to record three key albums.
My goal was just to highlight those stories in some way.
Obviously I don't have access to the Elvis archives at Graceland, but I hope you enjoy.
The following are 10 segments that I thought could have fit into the film.
"
... EIN totally agrees and thoroughly recommends this 37 minute video.
This is the type of material that should have been in the DVD Extras     
CLICK HERE to VIMEO to watch
EIN thanks Dennis Laverty for his input.
(Spotlight, Source;Dennis Laverty/ElvisInfoNet)

'Big Boss Man: What Kind of Technical Advice Did Parker Provide for Elvis’s Movies?': As technical advisor, Colonel Tom Parker was hailed by showbiz bible Variety as an "expert property developer." Though some of the movie properties Elvis’s manager helped develop were incredibly slapdash, that observation does raise one of the most puzzling aspects of the star’s Hollywood career.
How much control did Parker have over Presley’s films, and what kind of technical advice did he provide between 1956 and 1972?
The Colonel developed the strategy – and ensured it was executed. Though his client often complained that he was "tired of these damn movies" in which fought in one scene and sang to a dog in the next, he never decisively rebelled, signifying his distaste by hiding in Memphis for as long as possible until the next shooting schedule beckoned.

Click here to this EIN Spotlight where respected author Paul Simpson takes a fascinating look at Colonel Parker and his input, both positive and negative, into Elvis' film career...
(Spotlight; Source;PSimpson/ElvisInfoNetwork)


'Elvis was not a Racist'- A Spotlight Revisited: Back in 2005 EIN's Piers Beagley wrote an in-depth look at Elvis' background & cultural influences, discovering a man that not only helped the local black community but who was also key figure in the racial integration of popular music. As James Brown said, "I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There’ll never be another like that soul brother" and Muhammad Ali, "Elvis Presley was the sweetest, most humble and nicest man you'd want to know."
Now in 2012 EIN's good friend Bernard Tanner, Jr. sent us a wonderful letter explaining his reaction when faced with young adults in his hometown of Altanta Georgia accusing Elvis of being a racist. He says.. "My refusal to back down against their impassioned but wrong-headed and false accusations of Presley's race bigotry shocked them.... .. And (often) lost in these arguments is the fact that Elvis was supernally

gifted as a performer and as a vocalist. And that he marshaled those rare gifts to the African-American cultural and musical construct and helped to give those musical idioms, not only a much wider acceptability, respect and legitimacy - but supernally so!
With Elvis Week 2012 recently ending please CLICK HERE to see this excellent article re-visited.
(Spotlight Article, Source: ElvisInformationNetwork)

Elvis Presley The Searcher, Elvis Presley The Searcher, Elvis Presley The Searcher, Elvis Presley The Searcher, Elvis Presley The Searcher HBO documentary, HBO Elvis Presley The Searcher, Elvis Presley The Searcher HBO, Elvis Presley The Searcher,

See EIN review of 'Prince From Another Planet'

See EIN review of 'A Boy From Tupelo'

See EIN review of 'Young Man With The Big Beat'.

See EIN review of 'Elvis Is Back!' Legacy Edition review:

See EIN review of 'The Complete Elvis Presley Masters' in-depth Review

See EIN review of 'On Stage' 40th Anniversary LEGACY in-depth review:

See EIN review of From Elvis In Memphis (40th Anniversary Legacy Edition)

See EIN review of 'I Believe' BMG Gospel set.

See EIN review of 'The Complete '68 Comeback Special' CD Review:


EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.
Elvis Presley, Elvis and Graceland are trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The Elvis Information Network has been running since 1986 and is an EPE officially recognised Elvis fan club.

 

\

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Miss these Popular Interviews?
Dave Hebler Interview with EIN:
(Interview) Mark Duffett author of the new book, Counting Down Elvis His 100 Finest Songs, talks to EIN:
Alan Hanson 'Elvis: The Movies' Interview:
Millie Kirkham  - Bob Hayden Interview for EIN:
"Reconsider Baby: Elvis: A Listener's Guide" 2017- Shane Brown Interview :
Keith Alverson Interview - 'Strictly Elvis: 1973-74-75':
Red West Interview: RIP
Sonny West talks to EIN:
Mindi Miller, Elvis' girlfriend, interview with EIN:
'Elvis: One Night In Toronto': Paul Sweeney Interview:
Joe Esposito EIN Interview:
(Interview) Bill "Superfoot" Wallace talks to EIN:
Paul Dowling EIN Interview:
Go here to EIN's exclusive interview with Wayne Jackson - RIP.
"Dr. Nick" Exclusive EIN interview:
EIN Joyce Bova exclusive Interview:
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
John Wilkinson Tribute & 1972 Interview:
(Interview) Anne E. Nixon answers your questions
Ginger Alden Interview:
Elaine Beckett -Easy Come Easy Go costar- Interview:
Shirley Dieu, author of Memphis Mafia Princess, talks to EIN:
Interview With Elvis author - : Gillian G. Gaar
Interview with Dick Grob, Elvis' Head Of Security:
Hollywood veteran Michael Hoey talks to EIN:
Interview with 'Elvis Films FAQ' author Paul Simpson:
"My Fast Life" Rare Elvis Presley 1964 Interview:
RIP - Bernard Lansky talks to EIN:
Allyson Adams 'The Rebel and The King' Interview: 
Joseph A. Tunzi
David Stanley (2012)
Vernon Presley Interview:
Jerry Leiber Interview for EIN
Elvis Paradise Hawaiian Interview - with Peter Noone
Sam Thompson, Elvis' bodyguard, 2011 Interview
James Burton Interview - Rick Nelson & Elvis:
Elvis Drummer Jerome "Stump" Monroe EIN Interview:
Donnie Sumner Remembers his friend Sherrill Nielsen: 
Lamar Fike EIN Exclusive Interview
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
D.J Fontana Interview - Elvis Week 2010 special: 
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'On Stage' and Elvis' Legacy in 2010:
Ernst Jorgensen (2009)
Larry Geller
Mac Davis
Roger Semon
Ernst Jorgensen (Record Collector)
 
Did You Miss these Popular EIN articles
'What was Elvis searching for?' EIN Spotlight:
The Memphis Sessions - 50 Years ago Today:
'Elvis: The Searcher - Additional Stories' Spotlight:
'The Steve Allen Show' EIN Spotlight:
'Orgies and Orgasms:  Presley in the Press 1956'- an in-depth
DJ Fontana Obituary and Interview:
COME ON FTD! Let's Speed Things Up A Little!:
Trying To Get To You: The Truth Behind The Elvis And Roy Orbison Show Rumours:
'ELVIS: That's The Way It Was & This Is How It Is Today':
'Money Honey' - EIN Spotlight:
'Marty Lacker: A Life Well-Lived' & Elvis at American Studio's Interview
'Secrets and Lies: Getting to the Truth about Elvis' Christmas Album':
All Shook Up - EIN Spotlight:
UPDATED - Elvis and the Coco Palms Resort:
'Elvis Meets The Beatles':
Did Elvis Record 'Tiger Man' At Sun?
Elvis at Madison Square Garden 40 Years Ago
'The Wedding' Elvis & Priscilla EIN special Spotlight:
'Elvis In Ottawa' Spotlight & Elvis Interview:
"Kissed By Elvis" Janet Fulton Interview:
'1956, Elvis Presley’s Pivotal Year':
EIN Spotlight on Alfred Wertheimer:
'Elvis Memphis to Madison 1977' The Gas Station Incident:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 2' Book Review:
'Elvis In Concert' 1977 TV special; Should it be released officially?
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
Dark Side of the Colonel
 
Did you miss these Reviews
'Elvis: St Paul To Wichita: Oct 1974' FTD In-Depth Review:
'Holiday Season In Vegas: 1975' FTD In-Depth Review:
Book Review - 'A time for LOVE' (Micheal Isles):
(Critical Review) Letters from Elvis (Gary Lindberg):
'Elvis Presley: The Searcher' DVD Review:
'What Now My Love' FTD in-depth Review:
(Book Review) Psychological Autopsy of Elvis Presley (Willliam J. Ronan):
'Bring Back the King' Book Review:
Book Review - 'Elvis The Gospel Singer' (Paul Belard):
(Book Review) The Comeback - Elvis and the Story of the 68 Special (Simon Goddard):
(Book Review) Elvis Black and White to Technicolor
'Elvis: Ohama, Nebraska '74' FTD in-depth Review:
Elvis / Orchestra Copenhagen 2018 Concert Review:
'The Complete ‘50s Movie Masters And Session Recordings' In-Depth Review:
(Multimedia set review) - Tearing 'Em Up! 1971 - (Venus Prods):
Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO film EIN review):
'The EPE Catalog' Book Review:
EIN review ‘Elvis: The Searcher’ Deluxe CD boxset:
‘Bicycle Rider: Thoughts on The Searcher’:
(Book Review) Counting Down Elvis His 100 Finest Songs (Mark Duffett):
'Elvis: Murfreesboro '74'' FTD In-Depth Review:
Book Review: Elvis Presley Concert At Madison Square Avenue In 1977 (Walter Twin):
'Kissin' Cousins' FTD Soundtrack Review:
'Elvis: The Movies' Book Review:
'Elvis: The Bicentennial Show' 1976' FTD In-Depth Review:
ELVIS ON TOUR - 45th Anniversary Deluxe IN-DEPTH REVIEW:
'Elvis:The Last Movies' FTD in-depth Review:
'Elvis: Lake Tahoe '74' FTD In-Depth Review:
'ELVIS Christmas' with the RPO' - Shane Brown Review:
'ELVIS Christmas with the RPO' CD 'Double-Trouble' Review:
'The Million Dollar Quartet’ Book Review:
Book Review "Reconsider Baby: Elvis: A Listener's Guide":
'A Boy From Tupelo' 2017 In-depth Review:
'Strictly Elvis: 1973-74-75' Book Review:
‘ELVIS: Studio Sessions 1956' In-Depth Review:
'Roustabout' FTD Soundtrack Review:
'The Seeker King' - Book Review:
'ELVIS & The Colonel' Book Review:
'Elvis In Atlanta' FTD In-Depth Review:
(Book Review) 'Being Elvis - A Lonely Life':
'The World of FTD' In-Depth Review:
'Ultimate Elvis' Book Review
'Prince From Another Planet’ In-Depth Review:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - EIN Review:
‘Greatest Live Hits of the 50s’ MRS CD Review: 
Once Upon A Time: Elvis and Anita (Memories of My Mother) - Book Review:
'A Boy From Tupelo' special In-depth Review:
Bootleg Elvis (Book Review)
'G.I.Blues Vol.1' FTD Soundtrack - CD review:
'Blue Hawaii - The Expanded Alternate Album' Review:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
'48 Hours To Memphis' FTD CD Review:
'Young Man with the Big Beat' In-Depth Review:
'Fashion For A King' FTD in-depth Review:
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
'Stage Rehearsal' FTD Review:
 
Audio-Visual
Best of Elvis on YouTube
Graceland cam
EPE's Multimedia Elvis Gallery
Sirius Elvis Satellite Radio
Elvis Radio (ETA's)
Elvis Express Radio
Ultimate Elvis Radio
Elvis Only Radio
"Images in Concert" PhotoDatabase
Radio Interview: Vernon & Gladys Presley
Sanja's Elvis Week 2007 Photo Gallery
'EIN's Best of Elvis on YouTube'
The Music of Elvis Presley - Australian Radio Show
Reference
All about Elvis
All about Elvis Tribute Artists
All about Graceland
All about Lisa Marie Presley
Ancestors of Elvis
Art Archives
Book Releases 2009
Contact List
Elvis and Racism
Elvis as Religion
Elvis CDs in 2007
Elvis DVDs in 2006
Elvis Film Guide
'2007 New Releases'
Elvis Presley In Concert "downunder" 2006
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Research Forum
Elvis Rules on Television
Graceland - The National Historic Landmark
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
Is Elvis the best selling artist?
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Links to other Elvis sites
Marty's Musings
Online Elvis Symposium
Parkes Elvis Festival 2009 (Australia)
Presley Law legal archives (Preslaw)
Presleys In The Press
Sale of EPE (Archives)
6th Annual Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis biography