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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: May ::
Re: Movies and Luhrmann
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.1252  Tuesday, 7 May 2002

[1]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Monday, 6 May 2002 11:09:11 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1240 Re: Movies and Luhrmann

[2]     From:   Sam Small <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 7 May 2002 01:36:32 +0100
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.1240 Re: Movies and Luhrmann


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Monday, 6 May 2002 11:09:11 -0400
Subject: 13.1240 Re: Movies and Luhrmann
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1240 Re: Movies and Luhrmann

Two brief comments on my objections to Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet:

1.  He titled his work "William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet" but it is
not. It is Baz Luhrmann's.  Had he called it that I think I would have
appreciated more of what he did with the story.

2.  Brian asks for us to criticize based on the text. I shall.  The
Chorus tells us that the families are "alike in dignity" but Luhrmann
makes the Capulets crass and crude, while the Montagues are icy-cold
elitists.  This appeal to the broader audience via making the families
very different may work for the audiences; it does not, however, remain
true to Shakespeare's version of the story where part of the tragedy
lies in the very fact that the two families are so much alike.

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sam Small <
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Date:           Tuesday, 7 May 2002 01:36:32 +0100
Subject: 13.1240 Re: Movies and Luhrmann
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.1240 Re: Movies and Luhrmann

I won't reply to Brian Willis' objections to my criticism of his
attitude - save that I'm glad he's back.  I knew he couldn't bear to be
away from us.  He does, however, challenge us with "Can anyone criticise
the film [R+J] and explain how it distorts the play or the text?"  Well,
the one glaring, wince-making, head-scratching moment was the final
death scene where Juliet opens her eyes and smiles a loving goodbye to a
tearful Leo.  This is not in the play.  This play is a tragedy.  Tragedy
means that all ends ill.  Above all the lovers do not get a chance to
say goodbye. Shakespeare's version is that the lovers do not say
goodbye.  That is the whole point about the ending - it is tragic.  Poor
Luhrmann failed to understand this basic tenet of drama like the rest of
his irritating film.

SAM SMALL
http://www.passioninpieces.co.uk

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