• 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 opening scene of the Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann film versions of "Romeo and Juliet

Extracts from this document...


Compare and contrast the opening scene of the Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Luhrmann film versions of "Romeo and Juliet Both directors present their interpretation of the epic tale of love, reflecting their attitudes towards play and playwright. Luhrmann tackled the task of bringing the play up to date in 1997 and getting young people interested. Zeffirelli's love for Shakespeare's works shines through and so he has done little tampering. In fact Zeffirelli gives the film an air of nobility - like the youths' death was sad, but a fitting end. Luhrmann conveys absolute disgust with the violence and needless death. Zeffirelli's film is set in Italy imitating Shakespeare's medieval Verona effectively in the landscape, traditional piazzas and climate, noticeable in the fight when dust obscures the action. Zeffirelli takes advantage of this authenticity; showing it off, throughout the prologue, using shots of the misty city, which sharply focus just before the scene relocates to the piazza. Zeffirelli's setting allows artefacts used to be realistic. This is shown in the bell tower, showing the spread of violence and contributing to the cacophony, and in the dramatic arrival of the Prince coming to the rescue. ...read more.


Luhrmann's setting is vaguer and less romantic than Zeffirelli's; a metropolis combining various monuments. It shows modern industry and globalisation effectively -using a petrol station, industry's fuel, for the brawl, showing the unused energy of young men. The sheer size of the city inflates the severity of the conflict as it absorbs an immense set. This is worldlier than Verona with emphasis on violence and money showing a seedier side of life with a shot of a prostitute attracting some business and the ongoing violence as a Montague boy has a black eye; a less romantic use of extras than Zeffirelli. Luhrmann also includes wit in referring to guns as swords in their inscriptions. In accordance with his setting Luhrmann has included a multi-racial cast in keeping with the modern theme - the prince and Mercutio are black. Luhrmann has, like Zeffirelli, distinguished between the houses and given the film a tribal theme with costume -surfer versus leather and metal. Tybalt is again shown as aggressive and machismo, stripping off his jacket and kissing his gun, although watching for the first time it can seem a parody; he is so overdone. ...read more.


iconography which appears regularly throughout the scene - statues, on guns, tattoos, Tybalt's waistcoat, necklaces, in the limo and even shaved into the back of a character's head. Luhrmann also uses numerous close-ups during this first scene, of the match and Tybalt's heel emphasizing the aggression of that action, of feet to build suspense, faces, Tybalt and Benvolio - going closer for a view of the eyes, on the butts of the guns, Tybalt's cigarette dropping, flames, and later Romeo's face and diary. After the repetition of the prologue there are freeze-frames of the characters accompanied by an introduction and during the scene the screen freezes on characters and repeats this, this helps the viewer to get the characters sorted out. Luhrmann also provides shots focusing on the helicopter carrying the Prince and aerial views from the helicopter's perspective which is an original way of presenting the violence breaking out over the city. For the introduction of Romeo the camera is used differently; he is silhouetted against a natural setting in natural light, shown at a distance, alone. He is then shown again slightly silhouetted with the camera rising from his feet to his face, a technique to build suspense also employed by Zeffirelli. ...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. The major differences between the two movies Romeo and Juliet who were made by ...

    this hiding behind a wall is a very traditional perspective of this sonnet. The wall is another prop Baz Luhrmann uses to show a barrier. Romeo and Juliet then kiss and go into an elevator but when the door opens the nurse is there.

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

    experimented with the effects of different fonts and lettering, for example, the 't' in 'death' is spelt with a cross; symbolising the Christian faith and the importance of religion and also foreshadowing death in the film. As the Baz Luhrmann production of 'Romeo and Juliet' is a modern adaptation the

  1. How do directors Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli use the media of film to ...

    Once again this has been showing the higher and lower and lower angle shots. It also shows a point of view camera shot throughout this scene, meaning that the film would be played throughout the character's eyes, as if Romeo or Juliet were filming it themselves.

  2. Auteur research study. Auteur? - Baz Luhrmann

    Luhrmann and the Coens have proved that the Hollywood musical is not dead; its form has just altered. Luhrmann's use of late 20th century music to score a late 19th century period film has come to be what audiences expect.

  1. Comparing two versions of Romeo & Juliet (Zefferelli and Baz Luhram).

    the balcony scene, later on we see a few more examples of this similarity, in hindsight the marriage and the closing scene. Their love is seen as real and pure, this is helped by the use of language they use towards one another which is imaginative and flowing.

  2. Compare & Contrast The Ways In Which, 'Baz Luhrmann' & 'Franco Zeffirelli' Present Scene ...

    The prologue of Baz Luhrmann's shot reveals the entire screen to be covered in pitch black and totally blank. Then from the centre of the screen moving at a steady speed a television screen moves closer to the audience. Once it is in focus it can be seen that there

  1. Comparisons between Baz Luhrmann and Zeferelli versions of Romeo and Juliet

    Cheerly, boys, be brisk a while, and the longer liver take all.' On the other hand, all of the main characters such as Romeo and Juliet talk in rhyming couplets and sonnet. The line ' What lady's that which doth enrich the hand of wonder knight?'

  2. Discuss this statement in relation to the prologue and Act 1 Scene 5 analysing ...

    A prologue is written as a sonnet, which is a type of poem with fourteen lines and ten syllables in each line. The prologue is an introduction to the play, hinting at what is going to happen. "From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star

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