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How Does Baz Luhrmann Create Atmosphere in the Opening Sequence of William Shakespeare(TM)s Romeo and Juliet(TM)?

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Introduction

How Does Baz Luhrmann Create Atmosphere in the Opening Sequence of William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'? The opening sequence of a film is very important as it sets the tone for the rest of the film. Baz Luhrmann modernises Shakespeare's 1595 classic tragic love story by using atmosphere such as the fonts he uses and the background music. The opening of a film introduces the director, and what his style is, it gives the director a chance to be creative and experiment with different sound effects and lighting. The first minute and a half of the film is the opening sequence. It gives you an idea of what genre it is going to be, Luhrmann creates his own category of Romantic drama, it shows you that it's going to be a romance film because of the language it uses 'Star cross'd lovers' and drama by using 'take their lives', the opening sequence of this film shows the audience that it's going to be action packed. Luhrmann uses guns and gang violence to connect with the audience and draw them in. You don't see Romeo or Juliet in the opening sequence of the film to build up the suspense, of how they will be introduced. ...read more.

Middle

The left skyscraper is the Capulet's skyscraper, their logo is the head of a bear, bears are vicious animals and travel in packs, they will do anything to protect their cubs, this shows that the Capulet family is a very close family, and will do anything to protect each other, even if it means murder. On the left hand side of the Capulet skyscraper, is a block of apartments that look quite run-down, on the block, there is an advertisement for Montague. This shows that they are in competition, and in front of the apartment block, is a big billboard, the word 'L'amour' is written in coca-cola font. 'L'amour' is French for love. Verona beach is in Italy, but the film is set in America, and there is a French sign, this could be to do with the immigration to America at the time. On the right hand side of the Jesus statue is the Montague skyscraper, this is a lot more modern than the Capulet, and their logo is three hexagons, put together to look like a bees honeycomb, bees travel in swarms, and this shows that this family too is very close to one another, In front and just to the right of ...read more.

Conclusion

The prologue that the news broadcaster read out is then repeated by a male narrator. When he says 'Take their life' it is in an older fashioned font, the't' looks like a crucifix This creates a religious atmosphere, leading us to believe that maybe religion is the only thing these families have in common, and religion is the only thing stopping them killing each other. This religious atmosphere tells us that the film will have a lot of quotes from the bible and a lot of Christian sayings. Luhrmann presents Verona as a modern city, dominated by scenes of urban violence. Aerial shots move across the cityscape as police cars and helicopters dart about, and casualties are scattered across the ground. Watching them is an enormous statue of Jesus, suggesting that the families are very religious; this is backed up by the choral religious music. These opening shots of a city divided by violence sets the scene and atmosphere for the eventual action of the film. The diagetic and non-diagetic sound, camera angles, camera movements and fast editing that Baz Luhrman uses creates a dramatic & romantic atmosphere in the opening sequence. This dramatic opening draws in the more modern youths as an audience and builds up suspense for the action ahead. ...read more.

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