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// All Are Punished. / - casual synchronicity
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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Fri, Feb. 1st, 2008 06:35 pm
// All Are Punished. /

Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet has been, for YEARS now, the item in his Red Curtain Trilogy I have least liked or understood. I love Baz, and I understand the majority of why he does just about everything he does...except this movie. I guess when I first saw it, I was too old for the youthful idealism, too young for the snarky cynicism, and just generally confused about a lot of Baz's stylistic decisions.

Well, I put it in today, and it made PERFECT SENSE. I realized what he was doing with a lot of the stuff I hadn't understood, and I found myself feeling both the youthful and cynical roles very deeply and with great involvement. Baz was around my age when he started making this (35 for starting Moulin Rouge!, the next one), and I think both that and having watched the DVD of his La Boheme repeatedly and with a critical eye came together to give me a wiiiiide-angle perspective I'm not used to seeing through.

There's something kinda weird about the notion of having to wait until you're 31 to *really get* Romeo + Juliet, especially given how when you're 15 it *seems* like you clearly understand it all much better than any adult ever could. I'm wondering now what I'd think if I went back to the text.

Also, loosely releated: I'm VERY VERY EXCITED about "Australia", Baz's long-awaited next movie. As he himself pointed out, Moulin Rouge, started at 35, was basically his last shot at doing something with the last of his youthful energy and values before he cast them off at his power peak and started moving down the tail path. This will be his first picture as a "full adult," both culturally and more importantly in his own mind, and I can't wait to see what he comes up with.

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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Sat, Feb. 2nd, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)

Well, in all 3 he's taking a basic story, then weaving in deep very basic archetypal myth to strengthen it. A lot of the choices he made in R+J that I didn't understand had to do with what had seemed to me a taking out of the star-crossed element and the wise-cynical-adult elements and basically bringing the camera down to R+J's viewpoint and world. But the thing is, that's completely intentional, because that's what's feeding the "red curtain" heightened reality, that's where all the energy and insanity in the story is coming from. Once I realized the camera was strictly in R+J's world, the little stabs-through-the-clouds wisdom they seemed to brush off revealed itself as how Baz had worked n the fated elements (why would they act so seemingly poorly there when they did so well everywhere else unless it was directed to be so?) that I'd thought were lacking. His seeming irreverence to the original is actually more of a Campbellian syncretism!


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boson
boson
Rob
Sat, Feb. 2nd, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)

There's something kinda weird about the notion of having to wait until you're 31 to *really get* Romeo + Juliet, especially given how when you're 15 it *seems* like you clearly understand it all much better than any adult ever could. I'm wondering now what I'd think if I went back to the text.


I haven't seen this adaptation, but certainly this is precisely the effect the original was going for. I'm not even certain it's a matter of understanding something you didn't then as that this is one of those stories that, properly executed, holds up a mirror to the audience. If Romeo + Juliet was able to narrow the scope to just their POV (an interesting choice) and still preserve the mirror effect, then that sounds like a fairly skillful bit of filmcraft. You may have actually sold me on renting this sometime just on academic interest alone.

I suppose time will tell if I really have to be 60 to get King Lear.


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