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Romeo and Juliet: Beyond Words on PBS, September 11, 2020

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The feature film of Kenneth MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet directed by Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, and starring Francesca Hayward, William Bracewell, Marcelino Sambé and Matthew Ball, will air on PBS' Great Performances this Friday, September 11th. Check your local listings for times.

More on the film here:


Edited by volcanohunter
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I watched this with my spouse and we both enjoyed it.  It's best to approach this as a movie with a lot of ballet, rather than a ballet performance film.  The scenery is very good--they give the film the appearance of having been shot on location in an old city, but it was actually shot in Budapest on sets built for this film.  The "ground" was actually built on sprung floors (same for the indoor scenes), which allowed the dancers to move much better than they would have on stone.  Some of the dance scenes suffered a bit because of the filming; for example, some of the scenes were shown with some obstruction, as if you were watching from another room.  (Watching through curtains was particularly annoying.)  Some of the choreography was modified for this film, suggesting that Deborah MacMillan must have given approval.

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I got as far as the ballroom scene and stopped.  Maybe I'll pick it up again at some point but to me it was neither a good "film" nor good "filmed dance".  Too many close ups. the background murmuring in some scenes, the repeated use of flower pots or planters to give an illusion of depth, the sound of Romeo knocking on the apothecary door yet no sound when crockery and wine bottles are swept from a table, Tybalt pushing a sword into Romeo's chest which surely would have drawn blood just a few examples of pretentious film making.  Trying to twist something into something else and failing badly.

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