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Romeo and Juliet-Media Essay- A Comparison of the two film adpatations

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Introduction

English Essay- Romeo & Juliet Introduction The purpose of having an opening sequence is to get the audience into the movie and to get their attention. The audience are supposed to be glued to the screen meaning that their 100% attention and concentration should be the movie. This essay will be comparing the openings of the two film versions of the play Romeo and Juliet is based in the 17th Century around the time of the actual play. However Baz Luhrmans 1996 version was based in 1996 (in the late twentieth century). Section 1 I will now compare section 1 of both movies; In Franco Zeffirelli's version we see the panning over 15th century Verona and a superimposed shot of Franco Zeffireli with Verona in the background. In this shot the director shows us the location and time of the play and he also shows that the he directed this movie by having his name superimposed. Then there is shot of William Shakespeare's name superimposed next to the sun, this is very iconic as the director shows us that Shakespeare's the sun of the play (the ultimate source of the play) because he wrote the play. Although Franco Zeffirelli's version is less modern compared to Baz Luhrmans version however it still has a lot of detail. Baz Luhrmans version starts off with a shot of a TV with a news report on. ...read more.

Middle

Then finally the director shows us their faces for the first time and he shows the audience that these men are Capulet servants, this is showing the audience that even the servants are involved in the fight/feud. The reason for which the director might have shown their faces this late might have been so that we can judge them and their actions before actually looking at them. Some members of the audience may think that these three men are part of the actual Capulet family. He shows the audience that this fight/feud is affecting the public/the citizens through their servants as well. The location of section 2 does match the original play as much as possible. In Baz Luhrmans version section 2 starts off with a caption of "in fair Verona" in white text with a contrasting black background. In the background the music starts getting really loud and even louder. These shots are very fast paced and therefore they also grab the attention of the audience. The prologue is now repeated for the third time. We then see a shot of the enormous statue of Jesus Christ which looks like really big it also has the Montague and Capulet buildings on each side of the statue. Then there is a zoom out shot with the city skyline which shows that the statue of Jesus Christ building is relatively smaller than the Montague and Capulet buildings. ...read more.

Conclusion

As their faces appear, the background voiceover says the phrase "from forth to fatal loins" which means basically from the centre of these two families meaning the key/main members of these two families. There is then a shot of the Capulet parents. The director shows this because it tells us that the parents whom are old are also the ones who are the centre of this hatred, they control it, and they are the leaders of both sides. When there is a CU shot of the Capulet parents there is also the voiceover saying the phrase "of these two foes". Again this is citing the fact these two families are enemies, they are foes and they hate each other. The last shot is of the two captions "A PAIR OF STAR CROSS'D LOVERS then TAKE THEIR LIVES". The mood then quickly changes from all action to a more calm ending kind of mood. The voice over then says the phrases shown on the screen (in the video), he says it very slowly and calmly as well which is contrasting to the way he has been saying the other captions. It also helps emphasizing the point that these "two star cross'd lovers take their lives". A good use of repetition. The location doesn't match the location of the original play because it is set in downtown L.A and they also show cars which weren't present in the fifteenth century. ...read more.

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