Comparing The Opening Shots in Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli's Versions of Romeo and Juliet

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Comparing The Opening Shots in Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli's Versions of Romeo and Juliet

This essay will compare two versions of 'Romeo and Juliet' directed by Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli. In order for me to comment on both versions of 'Romeo and Juliet' I will compare the opening shots, the way the main characters are introduced and the types of music and costumes used in each version.

Baz Luhrmann's film takes place in contemporary America. The latest version of Romeo and Juliet was filmed in 1997 at Verona Beach, California. The director chose this area because it is somewhat exotic and because it is seen as a city -state with its importance in America. It's also an area young
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The prologue gives the audience helpful information on the latest goings on in Verona, which helps to fill you in on what is happening. As the prologue continues I become aware of the original Shakespearian language that is used,

" The fearful passage of their death-marked love."

The use of opposition within the text is effective in conveying the contrast between Romeo and Juliet and the two families. As well as this, death and love are opposites that don't normally feature in the same sentence, causing a strong, instant effect on the audience.

Although the Luhrmann film has a modern setting and opens with a news anchorwoman reading the prologue from the play, it is read in one go and there is nothing offered to the viewer to make it clearer. It seems that Luhrmann wants to set up a traditional presentation of the words so that when his vision appears it is even more explosive. Although Luhrmann works hard at communicating the text, the American-speaking actors prove a difficulty. Dialogue is certainly not of prime importance in this film. In Luhrmann's film the words remain Shakespearean whereas the images are very much in the late 20th century. Using a television and a reporter gives me the feeling the director is trying to achieve a modern version of the film one
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