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Compare the opening sequence of the films of "Romeo and Juliet", directed by Franco Zeffirelli (1976) and Baz Lurhman (1997). Comment on the techniques used and write about how far each version is an effective opening to the film.

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Introduction

Media Coursework Compare the opening sequence of the films of "Romeo and Juliet", directed by Franco Zeffirelli (1976) and Baz Lurhman (1997). Comment on the techniques used and write about how far each version is an effective opening to the film. "Romeo and Juliet" is a play by Shakespeare; the play has been made into films by many directors. The version of the film by Franco Zeffirelli was made in 1976 for general release. The one made by Baz Lurhman in 19997 was also for general release. The Zeffirelli version is a very old fashioned type film set in Verona, to make it look authentic the clothes worn by the characters are similar to the clothes in Shakespeare's time and so is the setting. The Lurhman version is very modern, it is not set in Verona it is set in Verona beach in USA. The clothes and setting is of the late 20th century America. The audience expect an old fashioned romantic story when watching "Romeo and Juliet". ...read more.

Middle

After zooming in, there is a cut shot. The next scene is set in the market square where the camera does a tracking shot of the horses and the wagon that enter the market square. The sound of the wagon and horses is the only diagetic sound in the whole opening sequence the rest is non diagetic. The music in the opening sequence is slow, old fashioned and romantic. The graphics in the opening sequence are there from the start when the title comes up and the director's name and so on. The opening sequence does not cover the whole screen there is an orange border around it. The Baz Lurhman version is in many ways different to Zeffirelli's. The opening sequence starts with a television being switched on. The camera zooms in one the television as the channel is changed twice. As the camera is still slowly zooming in a newsreader appears on the television screen and says the whole of the prologue from the play whereas the Zeffirelli version only has a part of the prologue being said in the opening sequence. ...read more.

Conclusion

The sounds in the Lurhman version are both diagetic and non diagetic while in the Zeffirelli there is only one diagetic sound. The music is also different the Lurhman version has fast, loud and dramatic and the Zeffirelli has slow and romantic music. The effect of the Zeffirelli version on the audience is that it is old fashion and slow paced while the Lurhman version's effect on the audience is that is a fast paced, dramatic and modern film. Both versions measure up to the audience's expectation because of the prologue which is in poetic language. The audience expected a sunny place, both versions are set in a sunny place and both use poetic language. The Lurhman version does not measure up when it comes to the music the audience expect. They expect old fashioned and romantic music while the music in Lurhman's version is loud and dramatic. I liked the opening sequence of Baz Lurhman's version because it was more modern and fast paced. The Zeffirelli version in my opinion looked very boring and slow paced. The Lurhman version was very bright and dramatic while the Zeffirelli' version was dull and grey. ...read more.

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