Compare the opening scenes of Zeffirelli and Lhurmann's film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Compare the opening scenes of Zeffirelli and Lhurmann's film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet I am comparing the opening scenes of Franco Zeffirelli and Baz Lhurmman's film adaptations of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. Franco Zeffirelli was born in Florence, Italy in 1923; his father was a cloth merchant and his mother died when he was only 6 years old. His life was made brighter by a group of women known as the Scorpioni; one of the Scorpioni called Mary O'Neill was like a surrogate mother to Franco and she introduced him to English literature and Shakespeare. He started making films in the 1950's and made his reputation by staging and filming classic Shakespeare plays like "The Taming of the Shrew and Ottllo. His last film "Tea With Mussolini" was based on a different but equally dramatic source: his own childhood, this shows that he likes traditional filmmaking. Baz Lhurmann was born in Northern New South Wales, Australia.

Middle

In the time Franco Zeffirelli's film was in the cinemas the audience would have wanted to see a traditional setting for the Shakespearean play. There is evidence of Franco Zeffirelli fulfilling the audience expectations in the film as the characters in the film wear Shakespearian costumes and use props such as swords while the setting is placed in a 16th century market square. When Baz Lhurmann released his film the audience expectations had changed dramatically and they would have wanted to see a setting that they could relate to. There is evidence of Baz Lhurmann succeeding in his aim of making the film more accessible to the audience by using modern day costume and using props such as cars and guns he improves the changes that he made by placing the story in a 20th century city using bill board advertising to show the power of each family. In Franco Zeffirelli film version of Romeo and Juliet various camera shots were used, most of the shots taken are very slow but they seemed to speed up when a scene with some action, in doing this he added tension to the scenes with action.

Conclusion

There was also fading used to help emphasize certain objects in the film. In using a variety of camera shots it makes the film adaptation easier to understand for the younger audience, who would be tempted to watch the film due to the fast camera shots an extra diegetic sound. There are many differences between the two films. A key difference is the setting of each film, the city atmosphere, fast camera speeds and extra diegetic sound in Baz Lhurmann's version of Romeo and Juliet is better suited for the target audience. It is better suited as the audience would have expected to see a modern scene with the fast camera shots. The market square, slow camera movement and very little use of extra diegetic sound in Franco Zeffirelli's version of Romeo and Juliet is suited to the 1968 audience, as they would have preferred to see a traditional atmosphere to a Shakespearian play. By Shyam Shastri 10.8

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