Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are the main differences in the filmic techniques used in the 1968 and 1996 movie versions of Romeo and Juliet?

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The cinematic differences between these two versions lie largely in the realms of editing and cinematography. Both films were box office winners, connecting deeply with the youth culture of their respective decades because of the way they drew from the contemporary cinema of their times.

The 1968 film is edited in a more traditional, "invisible" style by modern standards, though it certainly does have its stylish flourishes, such as when Romeo and Juliet dance at the Capulet ball (notice the quick cutting and fast panning of the camera, meant to convey a sense of youthful giddiness). However, the 1968 version was not considered stuffy or traditional in its day. It was very influenced by the style of the avant-garde 1960s French New Wave.

Film critic Tim Brayton does a good job of describing the 1968 movie's cinematic style and how it reflects the dominant style of European film in the 1960s and just what made it so special compared to earlier attempts to bring Shakespeare to the movies:

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