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Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet.

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❶It took over one hundred and seventy and over a week to create the opening fight scene which enjoyed a screen time of a mere five minutes. Everything that occurred in Elizabethan England goes on in Mexico today in varying degrees.

”Romeo and Juliet” by Baz Luhrmann Essay Sample

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Baz Luhrmann is trying to emphasize the differences in the families by their clothes, hair and accessories. Luhrmann is also doing this to help the audience identify either the Montagues or the Capulets and help the audience have a further understanding of what they are like. I think Luhrmann has used these various devices because it reminds the audience and makes them feel familiar with modern things such as, billboards which in the present day of life we see every day.

Baz Luhrmann has used a range of camera shots, angels and editing to enhance the films presentation. At the beginning, when the news is being read, the camera zooms into the television screen as the news reporter is speaking.

When the reporter has finished the news, the shot zooms into the TV screen extremely fast and uses a wipe shot. A wipe shot is a image that is wiped off the screen showing the next image. There are many establishing shots when it is showing the setting of Verona, as the director is trying to show the audience where the action is going to take place. When the voiceover is talking there are many long shots to show the surroundings from a distance; the long shot shows two tall buildings one with the name Montague and the other Capulet with a statue of Christ in the middle.

I think the director is using this type of long shot to show that the two families are business rivals as we can see the two skyscrapers, which creates impact and suspense for the audience. Another example of a long shot is when Tybalt is shooting Benvolio from a distance. In addition there are many angle shots when the prologue is taking place for example, there are high angels taken from above showing the helicopter flying over the city.

Also there is a panning shot were you can see the scene from left to right and top to bottom; this is shown when the voiceover is speaking and is showing the location of the city. As the prologue is being said there are medium close-ups to show the headlines in newspapers and magazines. The director has used this close-up so you can be aware of what is written and focus on the scene.

In addition, there are many freeze frames which make you pay centre of attention, on the characters name and face. There is also another establishing shot when the Montagues reach the petrol station; this is to show where the action is now going to take place.

There are also many close-ups in the extract which show the actors head and shoulders; this is used when introducing the characters. Furthermore there are extreme close-ups which are shots that show the face from just above the eyebrows to below the mouth. Extreme close-ups are used when Abra is speaking to show his teeth. The extreme close-up is used to put focus and emphasize what he is saying. The different sounds, music and voiceovers the director has used to create several dramatic effects.

The music starts in a very classical and opera manner. Meaning there are many violins, pianos and other classical instruments playing. The opera music starts as from when you can see the religious Jesus statue. As you can hear the violin strings playing it builds up a sense of suspense and a dramatic feeling for the audience.

I think Baz Luhrmann has used this type of music to give the audience the oppression of a rich and powerful culture to introduce both families. The volume of the music is very loud to grab the attention of the audience. I think Luhrmann has used this style of upbeat and loud music because it gives the audience an indication of the characters personalities.

When the Capulets appear on the scene the music alters to a western cowboy mode. Furthermore, before the fight scene happens the music suddenly stops and there is silence; this builds up tension and makes the audience thinks something is going to happen.

Baz Luhrmann has used these different types of music for both the Capulets and Montagues so the audience focus on the scene whilst listening to the change of music. In the extract there are many sound effects and voiceovers to enhance the film reverberation.

For example, the helicopters show the audience that the film is set in an urban city. Also the screeching tyres, crunch of metal, the car horns and brakes are used as sound effects as the Capulets enter the petrol station to attract the attention of the audience.

The voiceover has a strong, deep voice which grabs the notice of the audience. The voiceover has a comparable voice to a movie trailers tone; Luhrmann has intentionally done this because like a movie trailer is trying to persuade you to watch a film and attract an audience, Luhrmann is trying to create the same effect.

As Abra appears in the petrol station he drops a match and grinds it with his feet. Also still while Romeo is entering the party, the camera slow cuts on spinning fireworks high up on the mansion wall. The audience could get the impression here that Romeo is emotionally spinning out of control from his current love relationship. In reality most of the audience know Romeo will eventually meet Juliet and fall in love with her at first site. The fact that they cannot be together allows the audience to sympathise with Romeo because this helps them relate to themselves and are expecting to see a weaker side of him.

Luhrmann shows Mercutio coming to the party hyper and uses slow motion to help the audience focus on him and things around him even more. Again in here the theme of conflict is brought up. The medium high angle shot on Tybalt can symbolise him lowering himself and his dignity by his actions and his evil personality depicted throughout the film. The first time Romeo and Juliet meet. Their costumes echo their positions in life and their relationship because despite being dressed as a knight he is still human and Juliet is dressed as an angel who is out of his reach.

Just after Romeo throws his mask in the fountain and turns towards the fish tank, we see a man in the toilet peeing in the background. Luhrmann uses the props around Romeo and Juliet very effectively during their first meeting.

The fish tank could have a lot of possible symbolism behind it, for instance a likely symbolic meaning is the fish tank acting as a barrier indicates that their love contains a lot of struggle because it is a large obstacle in their path. The close shots Luhrmann uses on their faces while they are staring at each other also adds to the feeling of love and passion Romeo and Juliet are feeling for each other and conveys both of them to the audience as love stricken, this gives a romantic atmosphere and makes the audience more relaxed because they would also want them to be together and in love.

The camera movement is quiet constant and just follows the movement of Romeo and Juliet as they have their eyes fixed at each other. This gives a calm mood and atmosphere both in the film and for the audience watching. Luhrmann is keen on emphasising their emotion and thoughts when Romeo and Juliet first meet.

He is using slow cuts, again while they gaze at each other through the fish tank, to focus attention and give emphasis to their faces expressions when they see each other for the first time. Their first choice was Miami, USA. As it turned out, the team were unable to film in Miami and the actual movie was shot in Mexico.

In fact, Mexico proved to be the perfect location for this film. Everything that occurred in Elizabethan England goes on in Mexico today in varying degrees. Like Verona, it is an incredibly hot city, which can be used to highlight the strength of emotions, from love and passion to violence and hatred.

The Latino, hot-blooded men also resemble those in the original text. Mexico to many people is a land far away and is unrecognisable although it is extremely busy, as is Verona.

This helps to signify twentieth century life. The cotemporary audience are also able to relate to the high-rise buildings, street gangs and crime.

One in Mexico it was decided to film the opening scene in a petrol station, but why? In the original Shakespearean text the play opens in Verona town square with the two rival families quarrelling. The service station was chosen because it is a public place, it provides a sense of danger with the risk of fuel causing a fire and it was highly likely that wealthy youngsters cruising the streets in modern, extravagant cars looking for women and a fight would meet here.

It was also vital that Luhrmann and his crew chose the correct actors to play in the film. Although in the beginning Leonardo Di Caprio was uncommitted to the film, a series of workshops proved he was the right man for the job. At first, the team were unsure that Claire Danes was the right actress to play Juliet because she was so unknown but again, the workshops proved she was the perfect on-screen lover for Di Caprio. The opening sequence is a montage of nearly one hundred shots used to illustrate the prologue and is played out in a rapid flow of images.

The film opens with a news anchorwoman reading the prologue from the play. It is read in one go and there is at this point nothing offered to the viewer to make it clearer. It is almost as though Luhrmann wants to set up a traditional presentation of the words so that when his vision appears it is even more explosive.

It took over one hundred and seventy and over a week to create the opening fight scene which enjoyed a screen time of a mere five minutes. The editor has the power to squeeze new meaning from individual moments through subtle changes in the arrangement of images and sounds. Each shot is very different.


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Baz Luhrmann brings a unique visual style to William Shakespeare's renaissance tragedy "Romeo and Juliet". Set in a modern Verona Beach, Luhrmann sets the assertive and trendy tone of his adaptation within a decaying Miami City.

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”Romeo and Juliet” by Baz Luhrmann Essay Sample Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet was first printed in and was performed, on stage, before Elizabethan audiences. While the speaking parts are faithful to the original.

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Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ - Assignment Example On In Assignment Sample The story of Romeo and Juliet originated as a play, written by William Shakespeare in Elizabethan England. Baz Luhrman: Romeo and Juliet Transformation. Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet Transformation A hugely successful transformation of the complex written version to the action packed film took place when accredited writer Baz Luhrmann redefined the classic tale of Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet.

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The Effectiveness of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet Essay examples. The Effectiveness of Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet Baz Lurhmann's modern version of Romeo and Juliet is very effective because it relates to a younger audience which makes it more appealing to watch. - Baz Luhrmann's Presentation of Romeo and Juliet to a Modern Audience In this essay, I will be comparing the way the years old William Shakespeare's film Romeo and Juliet was transformed by Baz luharmann for the understanding of the modern audience.