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Romeo And Juliet'

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Aysha Bismillah 10R 'Romeo And Juliet' The opening sequences of Zeffirelli's 'Romeo And Juliet' and Baz Lurhmann's 'Romeo And Juliet' are different in their own ways. Zeffirelli's is older and more traditional. Franco Zeffirelli directed his film in 1968, starring Leonardo Whiting and Olivia Hussey as Romeo and Juliet. It was made in the UK, filmed by paramount pictures corp. and was on general release. Lurhmann directed his version of 'Romeo And Juliet' at Verona Beach in America. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio as Romeo and Clair Danes as Juliet, this film is a modern 20th century recording of Shakespeare's love story. Both directors try to use their opening sequence to show us a clip of their interpretation of Shakespeare's 'Romeo And Juliet'. Both openings set different moods to the films and just by looking at the opening sequences we see a mini trailer of each film. We can tell vaguely what the film is going to be about and what genre it is in. Zeffirelli's opening is calm and gives us a sense of a romantic tragedy as the prologue is told and the titles appear. Lurhmann uses his opening to give us a sense of action, murder and rivalry between two family groups. The opening sequence to his film is fast and action packed, and uses clips to illustrate the prologue as it is being said. ...read more.


Baz Lurhmann's version differs from Zeffirelli's in many ways. His opening is more action-packed and fast and more modern. At the beginning, a TV screen appears and a news reporter is saying the prologue as news. There is a medium shot of her in her TV and the camera slowly zooms in until her TV fills the screen. Behind the news reporter there is a picture of a broken ring and 'star cross'd lovers' is written underneath. This illustrates the film and tells us that the pair of lovers have a tragic ending. This fits in with the prologue because the prologue reflects the ending of the play with the line "Doth with their death bury their parents' strife". We know the ending before the film has begun as it is mentioned in the prologue. The camera zooms into the city of 'Verona' very fast and then out again very fast so a high angle of the city is shown. Quick clips of the city flash upon the screen using establishing shots and quick cuts to different clips. These clips tell the audience what's coming in the film. "In fair Verona" is written across the TV screen in big, bold letters. Newspaper headlines flash upon the TV screen one-by-one with parts of the prologue as headings of stories. Two buildings are shown; one with 'Montague' written on top of it and the other reads 'Capulet'. ...read more.


The way the camera shots are used all add to the action and create an opening sequence full of suspense. The opening sequence to Zeffirelli's version measures up to audience's expectations of a Shakespeare film as it has classical, sad music, medieval, old fonts and the prologue is said slowly and sadly. Baz Lurhmann's opening illustrates suspense and mystery, as we would normally expect from Shakespeare. However Lurhmann's version does not measure up to our expectations of a Shakespeare film as well as Zeffirelli's does. This is because it is for a younger audience and for the 21st century. It doesn't show romance as strongly as it should, as romance is the main theme of the play. The prologue is illustrated using modern clips so we see a more modern version of 'Romeo And Juliet'. Baz Lurhmann's version worked much better for me because it appeals to teenagers nowadays. It is similar to the films we would watch and creates a theme of suspense. Zeffirelli's is ideal for an older audience who expect Shakespeare's original play to be incorporated in the film instead of using his story line as a base of the film, like Lurhmann did, and making it more modern. It is more romantic and has less action in it so it highlights the genre of the film better than Lurhmann's version does. Overall, both versions are different and reflect Shakespeare's story, but Lurhmann's appeals to younger audiences and Zeffirelli's is more for the older generation. ...read more.

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