Freshmen: Studying Romeo and Juliet Through Film

After beginning Romeo and Juliet last week, students will continue their study of the play. This week, we will build understanding of the play by watching the film adaptations of Act I Scenes 4-5. We will be watching this scene in two film versions of Romeo and Juliet (the 1960s Zeffirelli film and the 1990s Luhrmann film). Students will be introduced to the concept of film analysis by learning film techniques, such as angling and focus. Our focus in studying film analysis is to help students visualize how authors and directors use techniques to represent a theme. Therefore, students will watch Scenes 4-5 in each film, focusing on an assigned film technique and discuss in groups how these techniques attribute to the portrayal of adolescent love. At the end of the week, students will be able to provide  specific evidence of the films to determine how each director portrays adolescent love (i.e. Adolescent love is portrayed as magical in one film and dramatic in the other).

Parents, how can you help?

  • We often watch videos without noticing some of the techniques that are used. Why did the director choose a close-up shot rather than a showing the character from a distance? Next time your child is watching TV, try asking your child to notice some popular film techniques and ask your child why this specific technique might be relevant to the movie or show. For a recap of some film techniques, here is the slideshow of terms we learned in class.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words. Our Article of the Week is about how the images we view can increase empathy. Try showing your child old family photos or an image from a news story and ask your child how these images add greater depth to a memory or story.