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Romeo and Juliet - How has Baz Luhrman used film techniques to create a visually exciting film?

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Media Assignment 2002- Baz Luhrman's Interpretation of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"- Written by Akash Soni Task: How has Baz Luhrman used film techniques to create a visually exciting film? In fair Verona, a pair of star crossed lovers takes their lives. Leonardo Dicaprio and the rather attractive Clair Danes take on the distinguished role of playing Romeo and Juliet in the modern remake of William Shakespeare's epic Love story. Luhrman recreated this dazzling and unconventional adaptation in 1997, carefully picking the actors to portray Romeo and Juliet and moved them from the Elizabethan origins and placed them in the urban backdrops of Verona beach, LA, thus making the movie at once modern and unconventional. The movie opens with a scene from a modern news report, but contains old language. The first image appears to be a TV approaching from far towards us with the sound of the news reporter's voice. This immediately grabs the audience's attention due to the serious voice being used by the reporter. The audience has the movies attention, and then the feeling of curiosity settles in as they start to make sense of what the reporter is saying. As the picture of the TV screen approaches, a broken ring with the text 'star crossed lovers' can be seen. ...read more.


This would have told the audience that in order to understand what was happening fully they would have had to open their eyes and ears which would have intrigued the viewer and kept them interested. Luhrman used a variety of shots to show the areas of most importance. The images with most importance and significance are the shots which have been zoomed in on and been paused for a short period of time. There where also panned shots. This told the viewer that images contained in the shots had the greater significance and/ or showed a specific them i.e. The repeated focuses of Jesus's statue and the cross for the letter T. These scenes would intrigue the viewer by laying out a very basic structure of the movie. Luhrman used a variety of enhanced sound affects to enhance the visual spectacle been given, increasing the depth and involvement of the audience. He used such effects as high pitched zooms, bass sounds in the music, a helicopters rotors turning in the background, police sirens, raging fire and piercing bullets and so on. The sound effects of the zoom for instance would also propose the theme of pace once again. If this film was viewed in a cinema or a TV with digital surround sound, the sound effects would be heard much more clearly and individually amongst the rest of the backdrop sound. ...read more.


Romeo walks away but is chases again by the Capulet, and is being beaten. Mercutio steps in to defend Romeo because he was rather angered by the Capulet actions. Romeo stops Mercutio from killing the Capulet but in the process Mercutio is hit back and is injured badly but it is unknown. The audience would have felt unsure about what had happened to Mercutio as he was hit but did not die straight away. He joked again giving the impression that he was ok but then he suddenly dropped to the ground dead. During this scene, they audience would have felt saddened by these inhuman actions, modern society enjoys violence and death, but not when it is a over silly thing or for the sake of good. In conclusion of the original question, "How has Baz Luhrman used film techniques to create a visually exciting film?" the answer is that he used many techniques. Mainly, he used the technique of constantly keeping the audience in suspense, keeping them curious, using high quality sound effects, using many different formats of images, creating scenes of violence, conflict, despair, war and death and visually astounding text and emotion to help create that overall exciting film. After all, in today's modern society is used to seeing this and enjoys this type of viewing. Some may have even found the film rather entertaining as some of modern society is being brought up in this environment. ...read more.

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