Last class we watched scenes from the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet and discussed the director's choices. This class we are going to watch the same scenes-- from the balcony scene through the fight scene-- in Luhrmann's 1996 version.
At the beginning of class, we will gather our notes from last class, wherein we compared Zeffirelli's film to our reading of the play. We will add to these notes as we watched this hour, comparing this film both to the play and the 1968 version (RL.9-10.7).
The scenes, while similar in language and plot, are drastically different. Zeffirelli's film suggests that Mercutio's death was an accident, just two guys who took a joke too far. But Luhrmann's film captures more hatred and anger, suggesting that Tybalt was truly out for blood.
You either love or hate the Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet. I'm pro. I think that it offers great opportunities to discuss purpose and shows the timelessness of Shakespeare's story. His movie movie suggests that people don't change, even if the way we are entertained has. I remind students all the time that people went to hear the plays. Luhrmann's movie is visual; he shifts the focus from the language and heightens the tension through visual overload, which is how audiences today watch: we go to watch the play/movie. Much like last class, I will pause at key moments to clarify and deepen knowledge.
The Balcony Scene
Juliet awaits the Nurse
The Fight Scene
Students have been taking notes while watching the movie. At this point, I will ask that they use their notes to write something more thoughtful (W.9-10.10). First I will ask which movie they prefer and why. Then I will ask which specific scene in the movie they prefer and why. We will briefly discuss their responses. Here's a sample of their responses.
These discussions are great because it gives them power and confidence. Their opinion on this really matters and can't be wrong (SL.9-10.1).