3.34 – ROMEO + JULIET and Playfulness

Our next foray into Luhrmann territory is his version of the 16th-century play: WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO + JULIET (1996). Sam goes off on one about one of his pet topics, and we take things further by discussing the playful and inventive qualities of the play brought out by Luhrmann ? along with his innovative use of pop culture and the art of the soundtrack.

Next Week
The next Baz Luhrmann film sees us jumping into the next decade, with AUSTRALIA (2008), available here: https://www.amazon.com/Australia-Shea-Adams/dp/B001UG56ES.
This Week’s Media
Q ? THE WINGED SERPENT (1982): Larry Cohen, Michael Moriarty, Candy Clark
BROEN IIII (2018): Hans Rosenfeldt, Sofia Helin, Kim Bodnia
Recommendations
THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995): Bryan Singer, Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne
DANGEROUS MINDS (1995): John N. Smith, Michelle Pfeiffer, George Dzundza
BROKEN ARROW (1996): John Woo, John Travolta, Christian Slater
ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (2007): Julie Taymor, Evan Rachel Wood,
Footnotes
You can get a general overview of the storyline here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet (and compare the film version here: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_%2B_Juliet]). Shakespeare’s primary sources were a 1562 Arthur Brooke poem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tragical_History_of_Romeus_and_Juliet) and a prose work, published later in the 1560s by William Painter (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Painter_(author)). Rob mentions Bertolt Brecht (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bertolt_Brecht) as a touchstone for the opening presentation of the drama; for more on Brechtian stage mechanics, see here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/english/documents/innervate/09-10/0910jonesebrecht.pdf. Rob refers to ‘smash cuts’ a couple of times ? if, like Sam, you felt you needed to look this up, then this may help: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SmashCut. We discuss long takes towards the end, in relation to the Mantua scenes of Romeo’s boredom; here are a few good comparators: http://www.indiewire.com/2014/03/ranking-the-20-greatest-most-celebrated-long-takes-87699. Finally this Q&A has some good ideas on the ‘soundtrack v score’ idea that we start to mention at the end of today’s episode: https://movies.stackexchange.com/questions/26376/what-is-the-difference-between-a-movies-soundtrack-and-its-score.