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How do directors Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli use the media of film to interpret Act 2 Scene ii (the balcony scene) of "Romeo and Juliet"

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How do directors Baz Luhrmann and Franco Zeffirelli use the media of film to interpret Act 2 Scene ii (the balcony scene) of "Romeo and Juliet"? "Romeo and Juliet" is a famous love story written by William Shakespeare. Two interpretations were made of this text into a film by the two directors, Baz Luhrmann (1996) and Franco Zeffirelli (1968). The films use different types of media to portray the characters and the overall context of Shakespeare's play. I will be focusing on Act two Scene ii (the balcony scene) where I will compare how the two directors use media in the films. In Baz Luhrmann's interpretation of the film we are introduced to a modern scene which makes it easier for the audience to understand and comprehend with. Even though the background scene has changed, the text itself has not. Meaning that Luhrmann did not change the meaning of the film but he altered the way in which the text is portrayed. Franco Zeffirelli's version is set in the late 1960's, meaning that there is a time period difference and it makes it harder for people to understand as it is an older portrayal of the film. The location in this film is set on Verona Beach in Italy, which is very contemporary style and twentieth century. The pace in which the film goes is very fast and it changes from one location to the next in a sequence of images, which occurs a lot during this recent film. ...read more.


When Romeo is staring at Juliet at the start an over-the-shoulder shot would be used to produce a shot from over-the-shoulder of Romeo, focusing on what he is seeing; Juliet. When Romeo and Juliet actually meet at the balcony, Romeo has to rush towards Juliet by climbing the trees' in order to get to her; again Romeo is still shown to be looking up at a low angle framing position. Also, when Romeo is standing in the bushes, a height camera shot can be used to show the high positioning of the camera to signify the view of Juliet. When they finally meet confronting each other, Romeo and Juliet are filmed in an extreme close-up shot where it focuses on their faces. The area from the lips to the eyes is shown during this shot and is often used for highly emotional situations to increase dramatic effect. This shot would show Romeo and Juliet's adoration and sexual nature for another. Juliet is wandering around in a dream by the pool and is wearing her fairy costume from the Capulet party. This symbolises purity and reveals her innocence of an angel. It is also worn as it is fitting and it illustrates her great figure. The camera shows height levels and camera shots of when Juliet is wearing her angel outfit, so Romeo is looking up to Juliet from a high-angle shot whereas Juliet looks at Romeo from a low-angle shot. ...read more.


The music which we here is very quiet and is a very old style choice of music which suited the time period in which the film was made. The lighting that is used in the interpretation of the film is very peaceful; the only light we can see is coming from the pool and the fairy lights which are near the balcony, this sets a very romantic mood for Romeo and Juliet. The lighting in Franco Zeffirelli's film is very subtle; the only source of light that has been used is coming from inside the Capulet residents from other rooms. Again the lighting is very important and it is dim and you cannot see a lot, which makes it more interesting and romantic for Romeo and Juliet. Towards the end of the balcony scene in Baz Luhrmann's film, the scene fades away slowly and picks up the pace when it quickly changes to a new scene. Whereas in Franco Zeffirelli's film, the scene does not fade away so quickly, as there is a long shot shown of Romeo when he is running back home from Juliet's balcony. He is very excited and the music starts up again. I dislike Franco Zeffirelli's film because it is very old fashioned and it is much harder to understand whereas the Baz Luhrmann's version appeals to me and grasps my attention, it is modernised and something that would suit all types of audience. ?? ?? ?? ?? Gurleen Chaggar 10D 16/11/05 ...read more.

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