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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: February ::
Re: Baz Luhrmann's R + J
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0525  Friday, 22 February 2002

[1]     From:   Alan J. Sanders <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 12:46:16 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 19:10:40 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J

[3]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Saturday, 23 Feb 2002 03:28:46 +1100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan J. Sanders <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 12:46:16 -0500
Subject: 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J

One thing is certain about the expressive qualities of Baz Luhrmann, you
either like it or hate it.  There are very few people who fall
in-between.  I particularly enjoyed Moulin Rouge (though I could have
done without the very forced "Like a Virgin" number) simply because of
the creativity inherent in the script and the visual story-telling.  My
wife really disliked it.  (We both admit that I felt Ewan McGregor
out-shown his co-star and we were a little taken aback when he was
passed over for an Oscar nod.) She even watched it twice just to be sure
she wasn't judging the movie too severely.

In any event, I have to wonder if early Shakespeare audiences may have
felt the same way about the changes he was bringing to the scripts of
that day -- was there that clear fracture between those who found him a
brilliant playwright and others who called him a superfluous hack?
Sometimes the line between the two doesn't seem too clear.

Alan

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Thursday, 21 Feb 2002 19:10:40 -0000
Subject: 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J

As in the thread from Charles Wienstein's "Declining Acting" thread good
acting and good films are in the eye of the beholder.  Do you know some
people actually don't like "Citizen Kane"??  Gosh!

I have evacuated enough bile in this list on Taymor's horrendous "Titus"
but others here actually like it.  Baz Luhrmann's R + J was not so
soullessly inept as the former film but suffered from an affliction that
many Shakespeare directors suffer - at the audience's expense, I must
add.  Most of us accept that Shakespeare was a time-universal writer and
that the stories could be set in any time but what Luhrmann did in R&J
was to try to sugar-coat his perceived bitter pill.  Whenever I see
glitz, glamour, TVs, hand guns and youthful gymnastics in a Shakespeare
production I know that the director is ashamed and embarrassed about
Shakespeare's poetry.  But there's more implications - that unless
trendy clothes and sets and pretty faces are foisted on the dumb public
they will be bored and mystified.  I am not fooled by such crass
practises.  And little Leo's not a bad actor - the trouble is he is
little and looks like a girl - not ideal for the testosterone pumped
Romeo.

SAM SMALL

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Saturday, 23 Feb 2002 03:28:46 +1100
Subject: 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0514 Baz Luhrmann's R + J

I agree. The success of R and J is a gift from WS. Luhrmann, in my
opinion, is a highly gifted designer and atmosphere-setter; but his
understanding of character is nil, his feeling for passion is just lots
of noise, and he is superficial in the extreme.

Sophie Masson
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

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