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Explain how Baz Lurhmann makes the opening of his film version of 'Romeo and Juliet' appeal to the modern audience through the techniques he uses

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Explain how Baz Lurhmann makes the opening of his film version of 'Romeo and Juliet' appeal to the modern audience through the techniques he uses Franco Zeffirelli's 1969 version of 'Romeo and Juliet' was actually filmed on location in Verona and is set in the 15th century, when the story of Romeo and Juliet was meant to happen. Its opening prologue is very plain and simple, there are just two long shots and the voiceovers voice speaks very slowly. The first shot is a long shot of medieval Verona on a misty morning, the camera pans around to the river and tilts up and zooms in slowly into the sun, the name 'William Shakespeare' then appears below it - this could signify that he is 'looking down' over what is happening in Verona. The second shot simply shows an empty market place within town walls and here the film title: 'Romeo & Juliet' appears, then the camera pans a little to the left and we hear horses and wagons coming into the market square to set up. The voiceover's voice is quite deep, calm, and slow; underneath is medieval music that is slow and mournful, this could be romantic music. Franco Zeffirelli's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' will not appeal to the teenagers and the youth of today plainly because it is too slow, calm, and simple; nowadays teens expect fast and adrenalin-rushing films which are very complex - such as Baz Lurhmann's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Baz Lurhmann's 1997 version of 'Romeo and Juliet' is a lot more complex than Franco Zeffirelli's 1969 version and also greatly attracts the teens of today. ...read more.


To even further make the prologue 'digestible' to the modern audience Baz Lurhmann shows us a series of magazines with the camera tracking right and even though it lasts for only a few seconds a lot of information enters our heads. Some of the magazines shown come from real life, for example we see a magazine called 'Bullet' with the front page headline: 'Shoot Forth Thunder'. A lot of people buy this magazine, which is about guns, and can relate to it so will more likely enjoy the film, this is another way which Lurhmann updates his version for the modern audience. The headline, 'Shoot Forth Thunder' is a quote from Shakespeare's play, 'Thunder'; this is showing parallels between these two works of his. Another magazine title copied is 'Time' magazine, although he makes it into 'Timely' magazine; this has the headline: 'Montague VS Capulet' and in smaller writing, 'Youth Brawl'. Lurhmann is trying to make a small joke here since if you're on the front cover of 'Time' magazine then this means that everyone's talking about you. The second last bit of the second prologue is when the voiceover quotes, 'from forth the fatal loins of these two foes' and on the screen shows the parents of both Romeo and Juliet - yet again Lurhmann visually shows the prologue on screen, to make it more comprehensible to the audience. And then, as the last bit of the second prologue we see two captions, one following the other. These are monotone so that they stand out more; the back round is black while the writing is white. ...read more.


The red (cross) could represent love or it could be anger and blood. It's cross-shaped, which represents religion and it could mean that religion (the church) is joining them (marriage). All of the title is in neon lighting, and this is to show the modernisation of the play. There are many ways in which Lurhmann's opening sequence appeals to the modern audience, some techniques he uses are: showing everyday items to represent something (e.g. TV set, magazines etc), repeating the prologue three times so we understand, he shows lots of violence which modern teenagers like, we get an adrenalin rush at the speed at which the trailer happens, he also uses techniques that we are used to, such as the freeze frame introductions. It's easier to understand simply because we see visually what the voiceover is saying verbally; also setting it in a modern context makes it easier for us to relate to and know what's going on. It reminds us of TV and film styles we are familiar with (freeze frame introductions) and this makes us like it more because we feel more comfortable with it and don't think that they will pull up some surprises which we don't understand. Overall, Baz Lurhmann's version of 'Romeo and Juliet' appeals to a wider audience then Franco Zeffirelli's 1969 version because it's set in the modern age which we are comfortable with and also because he tries to do all he can to show the verbal speeches visually onto the screen using something which we can relate to. ?? ?? ?? ?? 15 / 01 / 2005 English Coursework~ Page 1 of 4 By Md Onu Miah of 10L Romeo and Juliet ...read more.

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