Team E Blog Post

For our team project we have chosen Act 2, Scene 1 of Henry V. The reason for choosing this particular scene was because everyone of the group except our director had the chance to act, as it is composed of five different roles.

 

We figured out quickly which versions would work with regard to the content. Our first version is a stakeout detective scene, as a modern screen adaptation. We did not change the text because we wanted to create a film with a modern setting but with the original text. The second version is a Western version for which we have changed the script a reasonable amount. Both adaptations are not supposed to be very dramatic because the scene itself provides more material for a humoristic montage. As group we foregrounded for an example that Bardolph is an old drunkard and created a funny depiction of the quarrel between Nym and Ancient Pistol.

 

Many of the elements used reflected upon both film adaptations. The props that were used furthered and almost exaggerated the characters that Shakespeare created for example, Bardolph being a drunk with his whisky in the old west version or flask in the stakeout version.

 

As noted by our director, our choices behind the camera were designed to emulate a TV show than Film. I chose quick cuts and no fancy shots to make the film have a faster feel. I feel that this highlights the verbal battle between Pistol and Nym without needing to alter the dialogue to showcase this. Also the inability of the camera to provide a shallow depth of field meant that we couldn’t put to much focus on the actor’s faces. Also we needed to keep the camera towards the middle in order to deal with the audio recorder.

Cailin Murphy: Notes Reflection

For my second blog post I decided to write about the prompt that asked to reflect upon our note taking and how our methods attributed to our success in English 311. Throughout the course I predominantly took notes during class lectures. I used two notebooks to write down key ideas, themes, language choices, and any other elements that I found to be significant within class discussions or readings. I found that these notes became lesser in regards to page lengths, but increasingly more precise as the semester went on. This was because I was learning what was truly noteworthy to the piece or I began picking out what was going to further or add to the discussion topic. When looking deeper into my first notebook of lecture notes, I noticed that that this was a common theme as the semester progressed. My notes became more focused, and in turn, so did my ideas. I found it humorous that I could tell when I found the material of a particular class to not be interesting to me. I would see doodles within the margins or small drawings of stick people and flowers. I also found a page on which I practiced my cursive handwriting skills as well as my signature, just being honest!

To transition to into my method of note taking while watching film reflection, I found that my tendencies were similar. I found it was helpful to watch the film as well as read or follow along with the text version of the play. This way I was able to hear the tone of voice from the actors to get a more accurate portrayal of emotion or meaning of the particular scene. This method also allowed me to write in the margins of the text version of how an actor interpreted a scene to help me create meaning if something was unclear. I would recommend this method of note taking to anyone familiar or not to reading Shakespeare plays. I also found it beneficial when trying to complete my other assignments in this course, like the close reading assignment. To answer the next question posed as to how these note taking and inquiry methods determined my success, I would say that if anything they allowed me to deepen my understanding of the text at hand. To at first create meaning for myself with an initial read of the text, then match my interpretations to the meanings created when I followed along with my notes as well as film.

Cailin Murphy: Film Review

For my blog post in English 311, I have chosen to do a film review on Romeo and Juliet directed by Baz Luhrmann. This post will focus on key scenes throughout the play and conduct an analysis on points within the scene compared to how it appears in Shakespeare’s original text to see what were effective choices or otherwise on behalf of the actors, director, or editing team.

The first scene that will be looked at is found in act 2, scene 2. The scene features the “Montague boys” yelling at Romeo come back to the car after he jumps out as they were leaving the Capulet party. The film scene seems to be a continuation of scene 1, acting as an introduction to scene 2. This is noted by the line “He jests at scars that never felt a wound” (act 2, scene 2, line 47) as Romeo is climbing the wall to return to Juliet. In the original text these are two distinct scenes. In the film, the action of Romeo trying not to get caught inside the Capulet walls is an effective portrayal of the overlying theme of forbidden love. Cutting out most of Romeo’s speech is effective of showing his attempt at being quiet. The back and forth dialogue of Romeo and Juliet’s lines, rather than saying their lines at separate times like in the text, is effective as it is like they are engaging in a conversation without the other knowing. During this scene I was intrigued by the directors pattern of water. This scene predominantly takes place in the Capulet’s swimming pool, which at first viewing of the film I found ineffective. However, upon further research I found that Luhrmann used water as a motif to signify clarity (Reel Club, 2011). See link here:

H2Oooohhhhhh: The Motif of Water in WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO + JULIET

The second scene to de discussed is Act 4, scene 1. The instance that Juliet brings a gun when she sees Friar Lawrence, rather than a knife was effective in showing that she was a powerful and potentially violent character in her angry state. This was also effective in giving context to the time frame difference between the film and Shakespeare text. Much of Juliet’s speech was omitted from the film in this scene. Friar Lawrence’s speech overlays shots of Juliet’s actions regarding her consumption of the potion, as well as the consequences if all goes according to plan, which we all know is not the case. This is effective in making time or a series of events seem to pass by quicker than they took place, making it easier on the audience to follow along with the story. It is ineffective as we lose the texts depiction of Juliet’s haste and urgency of wanting to take the potion. This idea can be shown through the quote “Give me, give me! O, tell me not of fear” (act 4, scene 1, line 123).

The final scene to be analyzed is act 5, scene 3. In the first stages of this scene Paris is not killed as he is in the text, however there is a police chase, which I did not find effective in my opinion, seemed excessive, but went along with the feel of the film overall. In the film the audience misses out on much of Romeo’s speech when walking to where Juliet lays in the church. It is said later when Romeo is next to Juliet’s seemingly lifeless body. This is effective in that it makes the walk down the aisle of the church more dramatic. Also, this is an effective use of setting and shots, reflecting back to the flash-forward of Romeo being in the church before the Capulet party. Another choice by the director in correlation to the flash-forward was when Romeo says, “Thy drugs are quick” (act 5, scene 3, line 210). This line was originally said in this scene after Romeo drinks the poison rather than taking the drugs before the Capulet party. I just found this to be choice to take note of.

Through this analytical review, the audience can see the many attributes to the film from the original text that are effective and some not so much and perhaps unnecessary in some opinions. With this being said, over all a good representation by Luhrmann in regards to the original text.

Works Cited

“H2Oooohhhhhh: The Motif of Water in WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO JULIET.” Reel Club. N.p., 10 July 2011. Web. 09 Oct. 2016.