From the beginning, the settings differ from each other. The Zeffirelli film, which was filmed in 1968 starts in a courtyard there is a market place, which looks like it represents Verona. The style is set between the 12th and 13th century, medieval and renaissance period. It also a lot more conventional to the Shakespeare play.
The surrounding area is a walled town with narrow streets and high buildings, which creates tension. There is also a scene, which is on a beach; there is a proscenium arch. This is where Benvolio gets shot and dies; Benvolio was Romeo's friendThe Luhrman film, which was filmed in 1997, was set in an American Coastal city, it had a statue of Jesus Christ between two skyscrapers, a lot of traffic, hustle and bustle and skyscrapers around. One of the settings in the film was in a petrol station, which is busy and noisy; it is called "Phoenix Gas." This has a symbolic meaning to it, which is "Rise from the ashes.
" This is ironic as the station is about to be set alight. At the beginning of the films you can see that the two films contrast with each other by the opening music, sounds, and images. The Luhrman's opening is Loud, and Zeffirelli's is quite and peaceful.The first we see of the two families in the Luhrman film is when the "Montague Boys" arrive in an open top car and the Capulet's arrive in a gangster looking car.
Abra Capulet has metal caps on his teeth with the word "Sin" engraved on them this is to create a gangster image. The market place in Zeffirelli's film was much calmer than the petrol station in the Luhrman film. Luhrman used the petrol station because this is where people may encounter each other and it is part of a modern life.The Zeffirelli film was made in 1968 in a time where "Hippies, love and peace," was around.
You can see that this is reflected in this film because it does not seem as violent as the 1997 version. In the Luhrman film there was a lot more violence, the film was faster, louder, livelier because that was how people's lives were at the time the film was made which is reflected in the film. Also people were used to action films and Luhrman wanted to make it relevant for a modern audience.As soon as both films begin there is immediate tension between the two different families.
In the Luhrman film there is a news report, which explains what is happening between the two families. There were several different newspapers, which come up, "Capulet Vs Montague's," and "In Fair Verona." These headings reflect the lines from the prologue, which are being read as the news. This gives the first impression that the two families are feuding with each other.In both films religion plays a part in the films In the Luhrman film Tybalt has a picture of Jesus on his waistcoat.
Throughout the film there is religious images. For example in the montage at he beginning there are religious images flashed. Also there is a scene, which in which you see two skyscrapers one which is the Montague's and the other is the Capulet's in between there is a statue of Jesus Christ. This shows that they think they are bigger than God and more important than religion, however religion still plays a part in their lives.In both of the films the main characters are Romeo and Juliet.
The actors give the impression that their characters are natural, young and in love. In both of the films there are also two main families that are feuding with each other, the Montague's, which is Romeo's family, and the Capulet's, which is Juliet's family.In the Luhrman film, the "Montague Boys" are seen as loud and bold. The clothes that they wear are brightly coloured Hawaiian shirts, which make them stand out. The "Capulet Boys" are seen as the Bad Boys looking like gangsters because they wear black suits, have goatees and arrive in a blacked out car.
The camera mainly focuses on Tybalt; he wore metal-heeled boots, which he put a match out with. This could represent the stamping out of a life. The camera zoomed in and did a close up of this.In the Zeffirelli film the Capulet's wore bright yellow and red doublets, hoes and hats. The Montague boys wore blue liverys.
The characters seemed a lot calmer and peaceful, even though there is tension between the two families. This could represent the period in which it was filmed.The Zeffirelli film was a lot more faithful to Shakespeare play but it was more exaggerated by repeating sentences, "Do you bite your thumb at me?" The clothing that was warned made it more true to Shakespeare's play because it was in the style of the period.The cinematography that was used in the Luhrman film started with a camera shot focused on a television screen which was in the distance and fuzzy.
The camera moved in on the television screen and a ring appeared it is broken in half and has "I love thee" engraved on to it. The newspaper headings that appeared created a montage. A couple of the headlines being, "Civil blood" and "Ancient Grudge."This version had quite few close up's, some being when the different families arrived in their cars. The camera did a close up of each family's number plate. The Montague's was "MON002" and the Capulet's was "CAP005.
" The camera focused on to the guns, which were tucked in to the holsters, they had their own family's name engraved on to their guns. There was also a symbol on them in gold. One of the Montague Boys has a gun with "Sword 9mm" on. The camera did a close up of Tybalt's metal healed boot while he was stamping out a match.
The Zeffirelli film begins with a shot of the whole of Verona, which shows you the walled town, narrow streets and tall buildings, which creates mystery. The camera then moves in to the Capulet's walking in to the market. There are also low shots looking up at the tall buildings. There is more lower camera shots in the Luhrman film so you can see the tall buildings, and scenery. The camera focuses on the two skyscrapers one with "Montague" on and the other had "Capulet" on with a small statue of Jesus Christ between them. This give the impression that the two families think that they are more important than Jesus Christ.
There are more close ups used in the Luhrman version.The music and sound effects, which are used in the Luhrman film, were louder and modern. It fits in with the fast lifestyle of the characters. The different families have different types of music associated with them, the Montague's was heavy dance beat music and the Capulet's was jagged guitar music. There was a few sound effects used effectively, the explosion of gunshots and car noises.In the Zeffirelli film, the music and sound effects are more contemporary to Shakespeare.
Most of the music is classical which creates a softer, calmer and peaceful atmosphere. The pace of the film is a lot slower that the Luhrman film. The music that is used in both films gives the image of the speed of the two films. There were not many sound effects used in the 1968 version, some which were used were the church bell ringing, horse shoes clattering, these are everyday realistic noises.
I first noticed that editing has been used in the Luhrman film when the newspaper headlines create a montage at the start. This explains what has been happening with the two families "Capulet Vs Montague." The ring, which was also shown at the beginning of the film, could suggest that Romeo and Juliet are in love with each other and their families are keeping them separate. There are also fast shots to create tension between the families, at the beginning of the film, which creates a peaceful and reflective atmosphere.
In the Zeffirelli version, Romeo is filmed holding a flower this could indicate that he was in love. There is an outburst of shouting between the two families, "Do you bite your thumb at me?" I think that the Montague's over reacted about this, by repeating themselves and getting louder. That was how the society was at the time that this film was made.I preferred the Baz Luhrman version of the film even though the Zeffirelli film was more conventional to Shakespeare, because it was a lot more modern.
The pace of the film was also faster that the Zeffirelli version, which was a lot slower, paced this made it easier for me to understand.