• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast the methods used by Zeffirelli and Luhrmann in the opening scenes of their films

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the methods used by Zeffirelli and Luhrmann in the opening scenes of their films, "Romeo and Juliet" Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is one of Shakespeare's most interesting and well-known plays. It may even be the most well known play in the world! For this reason, many attempts have been made, by a variety of directors, to interpret and present the Shakespearian tale in their own way, tying to make it creative, original, and unique. The two directors who have succeeded most at doing this are Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann, the two films I will be concentrating on. For those who are not aware, Romeo and Juliet tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers, Juliet (13 years old) and Romeo (17 years old) who secretly fall in love and marry. Their families, the Montagues and Capulets, have been fierce enemies for generations. Why, I hear you ask? Well there's no real cause. In the end, their love for one another is doomed. Using this as their basis, the two directors take a very different approach in portraying the play. Franco Zeffirelli went for a more traditional style, whereas Baz Luhrmann attempted to thrill his audience with a comedic modern twist, still keeping the original dialogue. In my opinion, Baz Luhrmanns film is aimed at a younger audience, teenagers for instance, due to the slang, comedy, hip modern feel, and gun violence culture, which seems to be a growing part of our world today. ...read more.


It's simple things like this which can straight away tell the viewer the time period the film is set. Example; space ships and flying cars, obviously in the future, modern cars, bikes, planes, somewhere within the last few decades, horseback, boat, carriage, back in the past. The techniques of filming are also different. A good example of the different techniques is at the beginning of the two films, the street fights. In the Lurhmann version, at the petrol station there is a lot of use of long and short shots, use of close-up, aerial shots, and low angle shots, which the Zeffirelli version also uses, but also there are other techniques like speeded-up film, freeze-frames, wipes and quick zoom which Zeffirelli does not use. In the street fight in the town market, Zeffirelli uses a highly mobile camera in cinema verite style, and there is a lot of use of aerial shots, and close-ups. There was one thing I noticed in both the films, the use of when introducing Tybalt. Here the camera starts off low, looking at the feet and legs of the person, then slowing raising up the the face as they introduce the character. This is a good technique to use to introduce an important character as the audience will know it must be someone important from the filming technique. ...read more.


On the other hand, the pictures presented to the audience in the Zeffirelli version are very old, swords instead of guns, horse instead of car etc. Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet are played by two young unknowns, Leonard Whiting (sixteen years old) and Olivia Hussey (fifteen years old). This was in keeping with the time in which it was made, when there was a "generation gap", and they would have been seen as innocent youth taking on the mean minded older people. The actors in the Luhrmann version, however, are well known Leonardo DiCaprio, and not so well known Claire Danes who were 21 and 17 years old when the film was being made. They are different to them in the Zeffirelli version because the acting is more exaggerated, less traditional, and more stylized. To sum up, the two films of Romeo and Juliet were both created and directed brilliantly by the two directors, and its hard to believe a some points that the films are both set on the same story! Theres so much that's different about them! Appart from the obvious time set, one being Shakespearian times (Zefirellis) and one being the modern world (Lurhmanns), the language/dialect is different, the transport methods and weapons are different, and also the filming styles and sound effects are different! I think they are both great films and to get a true feeling of the story I would prefer to watch the older version, but I do however like Lurhmanns version more due to it being a more exciting, active and modern film. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Compare and contrast the two 'Romeo and Juliet' films,by Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann. ...

    there is still suspense and tension involved in the unmasking of Romeo. However the costumes play a more important part in the Baz Luhrmann production. Juliet is dressed as an angel in white to symbolise purity and innocence, Tybalt is dressed as the devil to represent evil and Romeo has come as a knight in shining armour.

  2. How effectively do Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli interpret Act I Scene VI when ...

    In Baz Luhrmann version Juliet is taken upstairs by the nurse, Romeo sees this and works out that she is a Capulet. Juliet is looking at Romeo from the balcony, the nurse come up to her as says: "His name is Romeo, and a Montague, the only son of your

  1. Analyse the techniques used in the trailer for Baz Lurhmann's film "Romeo and Juliet". ...

    I am going to take each technical aspect he used and try to work out why he used it and what connotations it implies. Firstly, I will look at colour. Baz Lurhmann used colour to point out the characters of the people involved.

  2. Choose two scenes from "Romeo and Juliet" and comment on how Zeffirelli and Luhrmann ...

    This draws attention to the negative aspects of the scene, which go unnoticed in many other versions of the play as it is widely regarded as purely a love scene. Another way in which Luhrmann interprets this scene as his own is through the art of visual metaphor, for example props, costume and depictions of the natural elements.

  1. Compare and contrast the opening scenes from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet to these ...

    The scene then cuts to captain prince's office where the families are warned with their lives. The begging of the Franco Zeffirelli version opens over Verona. it shows a large view of the city at night, the dark and dusted streets of Verona lined with stone and dull dark colours

  2. What is important to Shakespeare in his construction of selected scenes from 'Romeo and ...

    physical meaning to literally decapitate the maids or it could mean to take their maidenheads which means to take their virginity. As sexual banter surrounds this phrase I would take it as the second option. Sampson then goes on to boast about his reproductive organs, "I am a pretty piece of flesh."

  1. Consider how the dramatist's work is developed, modified and enhanced by the Zeffirelli and ...

    Again, the media is here used to the advantage of Luhrmann, displaying strong phrases of the chorus as headlines in newspapers, which reflects the intensity of the mutiny between the households as it has made the front page numerous times. The consecutive scene is composed as prose rather than verse.

  2. This essay will focus on how Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann portray the opening ...

    After that, a prince arrives and ends the fight by saying that any person who gets involved in the next fight will be killed. This opening scene in this traditional version is meant to make the audience intrigued by the film.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work