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Compare the ways in which directors Sergio Leone and Baz Lurhman us the codes and conventions of the Western genre to create tension, atmosphere and interest in the gunfight scenes from Once Upon a Time In The West(TM) (Leone 1968) a

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Introduction

Name: Jasper K´┐Żnig Compare the ways in which directors Sergio Leone and Baz Lurhman us the codes and conventions of the Western genre to create tension, atmosphere and interest in the gunfight scenes from 'Once Upon a Time In The West' (Leone 1968) and 'Romeo and Juliet' (Luhrmann 1996') respectively? How effective do you consider them to be? 'Once Upon a Time In The West' (Leone 1968) is one of the best-known Spaghetti westerns. This just means that the film was not shot in the actual 'Wild West' but in Italy, Spain or any other Mediterranean country. The film itself is very different from earlier westerns even though Sergio Leone was watching numerous classic westerns while constructing the story. The climax of the film is at the very end, which is evidence that the film is very slow.The film stars: Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards and Charles Bronson. 'Romeo and Juliet' (Luhrmann 1996) is was Baz Luhrmann's second feature film (his first was 'Strictly Ballroom'). Luhrmann is known for his use of cinematic trickery, which he uses a lot in 'Romeo and Juliet'. The film is set in the mythical 'Verona Beach' but shot around and in Mexico City. Luhrmann used many different genres to create his film. ...read more.

Middle

Tybalt has a direct comparison with frank from 'Once Upon a Time The West'. He is all in black with a jacket and cowboy boots. In 'Once Upon a Time In The West' Sergio Leone mostly uses long shots to show the landscape. This effect gives us spational awareness as Frank and Harmonica are walking towards each other. The close ups also have a big effect. For instance when the camera is zooming up to Harmonica's face it has the effect that the audience can feel his emotions more deeply. Baz Luhrmann's camera work is very similar to that of a western. A good example is when Tybalt is introduced. You only see his feet which is similar to 'Once Upon a Time In The West' as you only see Frank's feet at one point. This has the effect of the character looking more mysterious and maybe bad. The shots in 'Romeo and Juliet' are also much faster creates more exitement in the audience. Luhrmann uses very fast camera movement. It is so fast that it is almost like a cut. This is not very western style but more like the matrix. This is effective because it is a point of view shot. Of course the audience loves effects like this to heighten the tension. ...read more.

Conclusion

Harmonica in 'Once Upon a Time In The West' is a very mysterious character. When the camera zooms into his face one can see his facial expression never changes. Leone has done this to let the audience know, this man wants revenge. In this sequence Harmonica also has no speech at all. The 'Montague Boys' are supposed to bring a bit of comedy into the sequence. At the beginning of the sequence they act very silly in the car shouting at all the other cars. Later on in the gun sequence they seem scared but Lurhmann has made it funny again. The director makes the audience think that they are the clowns always starting fights and getting drunk. Benvolio is made to look like the other Montague boys but seems tougher as he puts up more of a fight in the gun scene. The Capulets are definitely supposed to look more evil than the Montagues. Even though some aspects of the two films are quite similar 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Once Upon a Time In The West' are mostly different. In the sequences the directors may have used the codes and conventions of the western genre, however the pace of 'Romeo and Juliet' is by far faster. The sequence in Leone's film typical of a western but Luhrmann's is only partly a western. Personally I find Lurmann's film more effective because I love action packed films. However Leone's film does grab your emotional feelings more. ...read more.

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