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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: December ::
Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, SHK 7.0896.  Sunday, 1 December 1996.

(1)     From:   Bruce Fenton <
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        Date:   Thursday, 28 Nov 1996 07:33:06 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0889 Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film

(2)     From:   Thomas Bishop <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 27 Nov 1996 11:31:54 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 7.0884  Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film

(3)     From:   David Evett <
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        Date:   Friday, 29 Nov 1996 19:22:22 -0500
        Subj:   Rockin' Romeo


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bruce Fenton <
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Date:           Thursday, 28 Nov 1996 07:33:06 -0500
Subject: 7.0889 Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0889 Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film

Someone said that movies are no substitute for the text in teaching the plays.
Who on earth came up with the idea that text should be used at all in teaching?
Certainly the author did not intend for them to be read- but performed.

In my opinion the best way to learn the plays is by seeing them performed-
ideally on the stage and if not then in a movie theater- if that is unavailable
then by reading them aloud and finally, as a last resort, by simply reading the
texts.

I would guess that most of us who love and appreciate the works first gained
that love by exposure to a movie or play, not by reading.

-Bruce Fenton

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Thomas Bishop <
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Date:           Wednesday, 27 Nov 1996 11:31:54 -0500
Subject: 7.0884  Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film
Comment:        Re: SHK 7.0884  Re: New *Romeo and Juliet* Film

Vince Kimball writes of the director of the new Romeo and Juliet:

>This director, whoever he is, is one of the most well-read, creative, and
>literate people to come out of Hollywood in ages.  Most likely [he] is not
>American.

Baz Lurman is Australian, and tends to chew with his mouth open.

Cinematically at least.

I think he learned it from Peter Greenaway.

He was famous in Drama School for putting his fist through windows in order
to express himself.

Cheers,
Tom

(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Evett <
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Date:           Friday, 29 Nov 1996 19:22:22 -0500
Subject:        Rockin' Romeo

Vince Kimball's observations on the Baz Luhrmann _Romeo and Juliet_ are
stimulating but not very satisfactory, because they are not very systematic and
because they are mostly phrased as quasi-rhetorical questions to which a reader
(e.g. me) might have partial but not complete answers.  Kimball does identify a
set of Teutonic references that are, indeed, present in the film; these are
placed in a generally Latin American context (he refers to Argentina and Chile,
but the picture was filmed in Mexico).  What he does not do to my satisfaction
is to draw the references into a persuasive pattern that also includes, in any
way meaningful to me at this stage of my ignorance or stupidity, the text of
the play, as we find it in quarto or folio or Wells and Taylor, or even as
slashed and scrambled into the screenplay of this movie.  Do they mean that
_Romeo and Juliet_ is a Fascist screed?  That parents/the Roman church/any
church//by themselves/in a particularly South American or American
configuration/in any/configuration are Fascist?  That Fascism seeks out and
destroys young love?  He notes that Lady Capulet is blond.  So is Romeo: what
does this mean?  Why is he so sure the choir boys are also catamites--as far as
I can remember from my single viewing of the film Friar Lawrence is not shown
addressing compromising speeches or gestures to them.  To repeat, it's all very
interesting but not yet very persuasive.

Skeptically,
Dave Evett
 

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