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English media coursework

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Introduction

English media coursework Making a film is hard, but it's even harder when you're trying to make your film about an incredibly famous play, William Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet. Trying to capture Shakespeare's beautiful creation as well as adding your own personal touch takes weeks of dedicated work, especially when your film is competing with other adaptations of the play. I have compared two very different versions of the play, by Zefferilli and Baz Luhrman. During the prologue in each film, I noticed many differences and some similarities. There appeared to be more differences, as they were very obvious, many similarities I didn't notice until the second viewing. They weren't as common and weren't as clear as the differences. The most noticeable differenace was a choice made by Baz Luhrman. He chose to repeat the prologue. In his film the prologue was spoken twice, then said again a third time with the words on the screen. This difference reflects his younger intended audience. Using the repetition made the prologue a lot easier to understand as it was clearly stated three times, helping younger people to be aware of the background to the story. The choice of music in the separate prologues was another obvious difference that sets the films apart. ...read more.

Middle

This gave the effect that you were actually there, looking up at the prince. Also, it showed the prince's superiority. Both films had a lot of editing throughtout the fights. However Baz Luhrman's appeared to have a great deal more than Zeffirelli's. I believe that the directors chose to edit this bit particularly heavily to show the franticness of the fight and to once again stress that it was a big fight, not just a small insignificant disagreement between a few people. I felt that the differences in this part of the film were more obvious. A verity of visual effect are used in Luhrmans adaptation, beginning with the introduction to the characters. As each new character was brought in to the fight their name appeared next to them, along with their relation to Romeo or Juliet. One visual effect that I thought was particularly effective was a burning poster saying, '2nd Civil Brawl', this was effective because the poster was being burnt as a result of the fight, the 3rd civil brawl. It was a clever decision by Baz Lurhman because it subtly emphasizes the seriousness of what is happening; it explains to the audience that the fight is significant. ...read more.

Conclusion

I especially liked the shot of Romeo's silhouette. Throughout both films' beginnings a number of things were obviously similar and different. The costume in the two films is extremely different. However the costume chosen complimented the film. The traditional outfits in Zeffirellis fitted with the medieval music as the modern outfits in Luhrman's were in context with the modern surroundings. Both directors made clear distinctions between the two families, the Montagues and the Capulets, by using costume effectively, especially the use of colour. This made is very clear for the audience who was who. The films were both set in Verona, (as the play is,) however the directors had very different ideas of what Verona looked like. In Luhrman's film Verona was a busy, costal, American city but in Zeffirelli's, Verona was a very traditional Italian city. Choices for music and costume I think were based upon the set of the films. The opening to any film has to be effective and has to capture the audience's interest, drawing them in. Both versions of Romeo and Juliet did this very well. The directors made successful decisions to emphasize the most important features of the films clearly introduce the characters and storyline whilst maintaining interest. I preffered Baz Luhrman's adaptation. It was dramatic, interesting and very entertaining. Lurhman's effective decisions gave his film an excitingly quick pace that told Shakespeare's story in the simplest way. ...read more.

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