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Title: Standard%20Grade%20Media%20Study%20Unit

Standard Grade Media Study Unit
Director Baz Luhrmann Mission To create an
up-to-date version of Shakespeares tragedy
Romeo and Juliet Themes Conflict, the
generation gap, love, vengeance, destiny,
death Language Shakespeares English (400 years
  • Plot / narrative
  • The main events of any film (what happens) can
    usually be summed up in 10-12 points. After
    viewing the entire film once, write down your 10
    point plot summary in your jotter.
  • The Montagues and Capulets fight
  • Romeo and Juliet fall in love at the Capulet ball
  • They get married
  • Tybalt kills Mercutio
  • Romeo kills Tybalt
  • Juliets dad orders her to marry Paris
  • Juliet fakes her death
  • Romeo kills himself
  • Juliet kills herself

Which of the themes can you see here?
Summary part 2
  • There is short-lived happiness when Romeo Juliet
    in a ----------ceremony. At the beach Tybalt
    kills -----------. To avenge his friends death,
    -----------kills Tybalt in a blind rage and is
    --------from Verona as his punishment. Meanwhile,
    Juliet angers her father by -----------to marry
    Paris. Assisted by the Priest, she plans to fake
    her own ------then escape but a message fails to
    reach Romeo and when he hears she is dead he
    returns to Verona . He kills himself by
    drinking----------. In turn Juliet
    commits--------. In this way the warring families
    are -------for their continued hatred.
  • poison Mercutio suicide banished death
    secret Romeo Punished refusing marries

  • Our objectives
  • Develop an understanding of the role of these
    techniques in creating meaning in film
  • mise-en-scene
  • montage
  • camera work
  • set
  • props
  • costume and make-up
  • lighting
  • sound

Task 1 How do we read a film? Here is a jumbled
list of film techniques which let you read the
film. Divide them into three categories. Zoom
s actors actresses stationary
camera silence accents Expressions costume/clo
thing editing dialogue lighting Colour scenery
sets movement Positioning cutting musical
score fading computer graphics Angle
shots props close-ups Soundtrack moving
camera sound effects gestures
What you see Camera work What you hear

What you see Camera work What you hear
... Actors actresses expressions gestures props costume/clothing Lighting Colour sets / scenery positioning movement Editing zooms fading Cutting Computer graphics high angle shots low angle shots wide angle shots close-ups moving camera stationary camera Soundtrack sound effects Dialogue Accents musical score silences!
  • Objectives
  • To understand the media technique mise-en-
  • 2. To analyse how Luhrmann employs mise-en-scene
    to aid our understanding of Shakepeares language
    and introduce the idea of destinys role in
    bringing about the tragedy.

The director of any film uses combinations of
film techniques to create meaning. This is
particularly important for Baz Luhrmann .
Shakespeares words are difficult for his
audience to understand so everything he chooses
to put into a frame takes on great significance.
This aspect of film study is called mise-en-scene.
Mise-en-scene Everything you can SEE within the
frame, including set, props, costume, make-up,
lighting and camera work and the positioning and
facial expressions of the characters.
Analyse how mise en scene helps us understand the
words of the prologue.
Two households both alike in dignity In fair
Verona where we lay our scene
Two households both alike in dignity
In fair Verona where we lay our scene
From ancient grudge, break to new mutiny
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean From
forth the fatal loins of these two foes A
pair of star-crossd lovers take their life
Whose misadventurd piteous overthrows Doth
with their death bury their parentsstrife.

The fearful passage of their death
marked love And the continuance of their parents
rage Which, but their childrens end, not could
Is now the two
hours traffic of our stage
Luhrmann allows you to hear the prologue twice.
During the second time (spoken by the priest) he
uses images to help you to understand the
words. Task 1 Write down everything you can
remember about the mise-en-scene during the two
readings of the prologue. Task 2 In
particular, what do you see when you hear these
words? Break to new mutiny From forth the
fatal loins of these two foes a pair of
star-crossd lovers take their life
Remember everything you SEE on screen creates
The Prologue sequence
  • What do we see-techniques
  • What message/impact is created?

Remember everything you SEE on screen creates
The Prologue sequence
  • What do we see-techniques
  • What message/impact is created?

Remember everything you SEE on screen creates
The Prologue sequence
  • What do we hear -techniques
  • What message/impact is created?

Remember everything you SEE on screen creates
The Prologue sequence
  • We might not understand the words of the prologue
    but in this opening sequence of the film the
    techniques used -both the mise-en scene and the
    soundtrack- help us understand the violence and
    conflict the film will deal with. We understand
    that the setting of the film is a modern one. We
    are given help with recognising the characters
    when they are introduced to us using captions.
    The fast moving camera work, images from a modern
    city and dramatic music preview the film as
    action packed and appealing for a young audience.

  • Objectives
  • To revise the term GENRE
  • To analyse the markers of different film genres
  • To analyse Luhrmanns inclusion of various genres
    in Romeo and Juliet
  • To understand WHY Luhrmann has borrowed from
    other film genres. What was his purpose?

  • Luhrmann knows that his audience may not be keen
    fans of Shakespeare in fact they may never have
    seen a Shakespearean play before, but he knows
    they will have seen action movies, comedies,
    cowboy films, horrors and so on. Cleverly he
    borrows from all these genres (types) of films
    when he is making Romeo and Juliet because he
    knows these scenes will keep our attention.

Task Think about the markers of a genre of film
that you particularly like Western, comedy,
musical, romance, action, thriller, science
fiction etc. e.g. Horror markers would be blood
and gore, masks, cloaks, monsters, murderers,
ghosts, demons, darkness, teenagers, knives,
saws, dungeons and so on.
Watch the scene at the petrol station. Try to
pick out the markers of the three different
genres outlined below. Complete the table for
the action and western genre.
Action Western Comedy
Make-up tattoos, crosses shaved into head pink hair
Action nuns disgusted at Montagues rude gesture, handbag bashing Tybalt pretends to shoot the kid BANG!
Camera work speed close-ups zooms slow motion close-ups fast speed various incidents close-up on panicked expression of Montague (pink hair)
Soundtrack blasts of opera add to sense of exaggeration
Dolce Gabanna suits, gangster style
Steel heeled boots
Petrol station
Fast cars, guns, petrol pumps,
Tin cans, tin sign, dust, guns
Shoot out, explosion, car chase, riot helicopters
Shoot-out, gun twirling, bullet hitting sign, cans
Slow motion / match falling Sword 9mm coat of
Grinding out cigarette
Eyes of Tybalt Bevolio like a duel
Nine Inch Nails Pretty Piece of Flesh
Guitar, pipes, recognisable cowboy score
To sum up.
Baz Luhrmann uses familiar film genres to help us
with the unfamiliar dialogue. We may not
understand the Shakespearean dialogue but we
easily realise from our knowledge of action and
western film genres that the two gangs Montague
and Capulet - are in conflict.
Romeo the hopeless romantic Romeo must of
course be young and extremely attractive.
Leonardo de Caprio is right for the part.
However, more importantly, Romeo must be
portrayed as a hopeless romantic, someone who
could fall so deeply in love that an ancient feud
and deep-seated hatred is rendered meaningless.
How does our first view of Romeo help us form
this impression?
APPEARANCE - smart suit, but shirt undone,
hair tousled ACTIONS - writing poetry in
a journal, smoking SETTING - beach,
crashing waves, dilapidated
stage LIGHTING - luminous sky at dawn, soft
pastels romantic CAMERA WORK - slow
motion again romanticises him SOUNDTRACK
- Above makes him seem deep, moody, a loner in
the style of James Dean or similar.
Set apart by his disapproval of violence and
belief in love. We find out that all this moping
is over a woman named Rosaline who has spurned
his advances. Note that his use of poetic
language is so over the top that it makes
Benvolio snigger. The impression from the start
is that Romeo is a fool for love.
  • Objectives
  • Understand the meaning of fate and destiny.
  • Think about how this theme is explored in the
  • Explore how lighting affects atmosphere.
  • Understand what montage is.
  • Explore how montage contributes towards our
    understanding of destiny.

Fate and destiny
Romeo and Juliet are called star-crossed lovers
by Shakespeare.
1. Look up the words fate and destiny and write
down their meanings.
2. Do you read your horoscope? Do you believe
your future is mapped out in the stars? Do you
believe God or the heavens decide your path in
Listen to Romeos speech just before the Capulet
ball. Benvolio complains that they will be late.
Romeo replies
Romeos speech Act 1 Scene iv I fear too
early for my mind misgives Some consequence, yet
hanging in the stars, Shall bitterly begin his
fearful date With this nights revels and expire
the term Of a despised life closd within my
breast, By some vile forfeit of untimely
death. But He that hath the steerage of my
course Direct my sail!
Copy down this definition MONTAGE - the way
shots are linked together in sequence using
cutting, fading or dissolves.
  • The Capulet Ball
  • Analyse how costume and make-up contribute
    towards the creation of character.
  • Analyse how set, colour and lighting affect
  • Analyse how camera work highlights the
    significance of Romeo and Juliets encounter.
  • The soundtrack-explain what this adds.

Mise-en-scene Everything you can SEE within the
frame, including set, props, costume, make-up,
lighting and camera work and the positioning and
facial expressions of the characters.
The ballroom set was a way of contrasting the
simplicity of Romeo and Juliet and their love to
the harshness of the world that surrounds them
a world that is more concerned with appearances.
It also makes it very clear that there is a
reason they are together. They are both
outsiders in the extra-ordinary over-the-top
place. Kym Barrett, costume designer.
  • Romeo is dressed as a Knight in Shining armour
    romance and chivalry are personified. It is
    significant that he removes his mask as Juliet
    enters. Why?
  • Juliet is an angel purity and innocence.
  • Capulet is Caesar/Greek God
  • Lady Capulet -Cleopatra wealth power
  • Tybalt Satan(evil)
  • Paris Astronaut(US Hero)
  • Mercutio- in white again to suggest innocence
  • Montagues Vikings raiding the ball

Speak again bright angel
Dim and dark, suggests a sinister atmosphere,
moral corruption.
Vibrant, deep reds, garish colours. Setting is
ostentatious and excessive.
camera work
Massive mansion, marble staircase. Capulet
family crest is evident everywhere. Expensive
furniture. Wealth
Close ups, spinning cameras, blurred focus,
speeded up and slowed down. Romeos point of
view. Impression that he is drugged.
Light, pastels, pinks, blues romantic colours
Lighter, but soft - again suggesting a romantic
camera work
The bathroom away from the other characters
sets them apart. Water is a recurring symbol.
When else do you see it?
Point of view shots from R J perspective/ We
see them through each others eyes. Close-ups
show love.
What fate has in store for Romeo becomes clear in
this scene. The happy mood from the wedding is
short-lived, and is brought to an end with the
violent death of Mercutio at the hands of
Tybalt. Vengeance is the major theme here. Why
does Tybalt challenge Romeo? What is Romeos
response? Does he want to fight?
Technique What you see Purpose
fast moving camera blurred focus
slow motion
low angle
high angle speeded up
special effects lighting
effect of confusion in the scuffle as the
characters are experiencing it
fighting between Romeo, Tybalt and Mercutio
creates tension, shows Tybalts hatred and
Romeos reluctance to fight shows his wish to
make peace
facial expressions of Romeo and Tybalt close-up
on Romeos hand
dramatic, emphasizes seriousness of this action
Tybalt stabs Mercutio
underlines significance of Mercutios words
looking up at Mercutio A plague on both your
as if god is judging him
looking down at Tybalt
pathetic fallacy suggests role of destiny /
heavens displeasure recalls Romeos words Let
he who hath the steerage of my course direct my
sail. His fate is sealed.
thunder, lightning and wind as Mercutio curses
the families sky darkens and finally the set (a
stage!) goes dark
  • This scene takes place on the beach and we see
    the build up to the murder of Mercutio. The us of
    a fast moving camera is found when

Romeo kills Tybalt REVENGE
The director uses various techniques to convey
rage, madness and confusion.
Before he shoots. SOUND LIGHTING . CAMERA
Before he shoots. SOUND A deafening sound
screeching tyres and roaring car engines can be
heard. LIGHTING It is pitch black. Associations
of horror and a sense of foreboding go along
with this. Light from street lamps and car
headlamps is blue, cold and frightening. CAMERA Sl
ow motion and fast moving in places, blurred
focus, and different viewpoints all convey a
sense of everything going out of control. Close
ups on Romeos face show him screaming
deliriously, the whites of his eyes the only
clear image in the dark frame. After he
shoots Silence and slow motion heighten the drama
as Romeo and the viewers realise what he has
done. A high angle shot looks down on him from
above as he throws his arms backwards in the wind
and rain and screams at the heavens I am
fortunes fool.
  • In the final scene of the movie, Luhrmann uses
    several cinematic techniques to highlight the
    sacrifice these two have made for each other.
    However the scene also reminds us of the role of
    destiny in bringing about the tragedy. Captain
    Prince says See what a scourge is laid upon
    your hate, That heaven finds means to kill your
    joys with love.
  • Comment on how the set,props and costume
    reinforce the idea of sacrifice.
  • How do camera angles relate to the role of
  • Study the close-ups of Juliet just before Romeo
    drinks the poison. Why does Luhrmann have her
    wake up before he is dead unlike the original
  • How does montage increase the audiences sympathy
    for the characters?
  • Comment on the effectiveness of the use of sound

fact evidence technique
There is a sense of doom. We feel the end is inevitable. The audience is kept hoping that she might just wake up in time. Heaven/destiny is responsible for this. They were very much in love. We feel Romeo and Juliet are innocents who have been sacrificed.
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fact evidence technique
There is a sense of doom. We feel the end is inevitable. The audience is kept hoping that she might just wake up in time. Heaven/destiny is responsible for this. They were very much in love. We feel Romeo and Juliet are innocents who have been sacrificed. It is dark. We have already seen this scene as Romeo predicted it before the ball. We see her fingers move and her eyelids flicker. We look down on Juliets suicide and the bodies. We see clips of their happiest moments. Aisle and tomb make a cross shape. Final tableau with clusters of candles looks like head of statue of Christ. Neon crosses, candles and statues of angels. White gown and lily lighting cutting (montage) close-ups extreme close-ups high-angle shot cutting (montage) set props Costume
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