William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet

The masked ball on film

Viewing assignment

Film extracts:

I. The setting: Consider how the director, Baz Luhrmann, has chosen this scene to provide a wealth of visual information beyond the words of the play text:

Describe the atmosphere created by the music, costumes, action and cinematic techniques!

II. The first encounter: Look closely at the scene where Romeo and Juliet meet at the masked ball:

1. Make a list of the different shot types you see, and how frequently they occur. Which types of shots seem to be used most often? What reasons could you suggest for this choice?

2. Why do you think the director has Romeo and Juliet see each other through the aquarium? What effects does this choice of prop have on the ‘mood’ of the sequence?

How does the interaction between Romeo and Juliet contrast with what is going on around them? Think about how Romeo and Juliet’s different viewpoints are shown here.

3. In what different ways does the director suggest the connection between Romeo and Juliet, beyond the dialogue they have with each other? Consider costume, body language and facial expression.

4. How is the interaction between Juliet and Paris presented in the sequence, and what effects does this have?

Romeo + Juliet (1/5) Movie CLIP - Love at First Sight (1996) HD

Working with screenshots

Describe the screenshots in detail and analyse the use of cinematic techniques.


Comparison of the two film versions

Compare the two film versions of the first encounter of Romeo and Juliet. Which one, do you think, is the best visualization of this scene and why do you think so?
Romeo and Juliet - What Is A Youth