(via SourceFed) The trailer for the Great Gatsby movie, scheduled for Christmas of 2012, just came out, and it looks amazing.
I didn't know this movie was being made, but I'm already excited. Leonardo DiCaprio seems to me a brilliant casting for the role of Gatsby, and while I haven't actually seen any of Baz Luhrmann's movies, but I am aware of their style and tone, which is perfect for The Great Gatsby.
I'm also really looking forward to what this movie could be. I mean, they could totally ████ it up, but in our current political and economic climate the story of The Great Gatsby has a lot to offer. It's a celebrated and well-known story that casts radical inequality as a bad thing, and the book certainly doesn't gloss over that. I hope the movie doesn't, either.
But it also carries another important lesson[1. Well, actually, it carries loads of other important lessons.] -- that wealth doesn't mean happiness. When I read The Great Gatsby, it leads me to empathize with the super-rich and famous, not in the sense that it makes me okay with their richness, but that it makes me want to rescue them from the radical inequality of the system we live in.
After a certain point, more money doesn't mean more happiness, and there's no point at which money can make up for alienation and disillusionment.
Great art has the power to change the national conversation, and if this movie does what I think it has the potential to do, it could re-frame our cultural discussion about wealth inequality, so it's not about stopping the bad guys from making everyone poor, but about working together to help everyone reach a position where it's possible to pursue happiness -- which, again, is not the same thing as money.
On a semi-related note, I really hope John Green comments on this soon.