I went to see the Zeffirelli R & J for a class trip in ninth grade and it
etched itself deeply into my heart and mind at the time. I also saw the
very memorable short film version of BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR.
>(Save Romeo & Juliet before someone let's them live!)
>On the R & J note, I think even a selective comparison of Franco
>Zefferelli's film with Bas Luhrmann's (?) recent 'modernized' version
>would be very useful for kids. When I was in 6th grade, a group of us put
>on a condensed version of the play, so the story was always familar to
>me--I couldn't imagine not knowing it.
>However, around the time the recent Romeo & Juliet came out, I met an 11
>year-old girl who she was really excited about going to see the movie.
>She had seen the trailer and asked me about the part where Romeo is
>climbing up a wall to Juliet in the window--she thought Juliet had been
>kidnapped and he was coming to rescue her. I was shocked--she said she
>had never read the play--then her 14 year old brother chimed in that he
>had never read it either. I said, well, you must know the plot, its been
>retold in movies time and time again--the boy and girl from thw opposite
>side of the tracks, from rival groups--star-crossed lovers?... They
>looked at me blankly. Not even West Side Story? They'd never heard of it.
>Essentially, it occurred to me what a tragedy (no pun intended) it would
>be for these kids' first and perhaps only familiarity with Romeo & Juliet
>to come from the music video version. I myself enjoyed it a great deal
>for its *differences*, but I can't imagine not having something to
>compare that to--especially Claire Danes vs. Olivia Hussy (I think that's
>the name of Zefferelli's Juliet).
>I even remember a Wonder Years episode about Zefferelli's R & J being the
>fad movie for all of those kids to go see.
>Just some thoughts,
>MFA Film Production Program
>University of Southern California
>School of Cinema-Television
>Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite