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Romeo and Juliet - the post-modern features that Baz Lurhmann incorporates into his adaptation

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet To complete this task I have watched Baz Lurhmann's adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. In this essay I intend to look at the post-modern features he incorporates in the film. I also want to look at why he has chosen to present a particular scene in this manner. If we look at this film, we see that is certainly a post-modern text. It makes use of intertexuality and bricolage. Baz Lurhmann decides to play with genres - old with new. He takes a Shakespearean play and modernises it by producing it in the 20th century Western World. It uses bricolage as it makes use of a mixture of high and low culture. If we choose to concentrate on the opening of the film, we find that there is a news anchorwoman reading the prologue from the play. ...read more.

Middle

The opening of the film has a very pop video feel to it. The delivery of speech appears to be similar of a rap performance. This again ties in with the mixing up of a very modern western world with very old English setting. If we look closely at the opening in the petrol station, we find many similarities to today's soap operas. The names of each character are listed and there is many an advertisement. This is again a clear example of intertexuality, another very post-modern concept. Baz Lurhmann wanted to bring the script to life and as Romeo and Juliet was set in a world of violence and religion he selected Mexico for filming. He did this as he believes that there are 'Textual facts in the play, having to do with Elizabethan England, that exist in Mexico.' ...read more.

Conclusion

If we look at the costumes and the props used, we find that it has a big 1950's feel to it. The clothes worn and cars used indicated this - as there was a lot of beachwear and the two tribes both had big American 1950's cars. One of my favourite post-modern elements was Mercutio was dressed as a female. That made use of a very modern day 'transsexual' issue that exists in today's society. The fairground scene was also very characteristic of a western world. It incorporated elements such as glam disco music and drugs all very real in modern American Culture. Baz Lurhmann's aim was to break down distinctions and determined to devise a 'created' world in which language and the more obscure elements of the elements of the plot could be simplified. In conclusion this film takes a very high cultured play and marries it with low culture. ...read more.

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