Monday, June 06, 2011

A Director Who Understands Marketing over Shakespeare

Hey! Pssst! Want to see a 14yr old girl naked?

That's the underlying message in news stories like this one about the new Romeo and Juliet movie, starring 14yr old Hailee Steinfeld, and it's inclusion of nudity / sex scenes.

I'm well aware that Olivia Hussey was underage (15, was it?) when she played Juliet in Zeffirelli's 1968 version. What bothers me here, and maybe this was true back then as well, is this idea of leading with the press release, so that everybody knows the real story of this movie is a chance to see a naked underage girl.

I may have cut the director a little slack if I didn't see this quote in the article:

Director Julian Fellowes said he needs an age-appropriate actress for the role, because that’s how Shakespeare did it.

What the....what does that even mean? Shakespeare would have had a *boy* in the role, for starters, and I'm pretty sure he didn't write in any explicit sex scenes!

And then he caps it off thusly:

“My version is a romantic story – one that keeps pretty true to Shakespeare but is, I hope, more accessible.”

So, you know, another genius bent on *improving* Shakespeare by giving us *his* vision.

1 comment:

Giulia said...

I believe that, if he really knew what he was doing, if he was a serious director he obviously wouldn't do that kind of bad marketing.
I wonder if this movie won't get cut out, because it seems he just wants to use the girl's body. And, nowadays, almost everything is considered a crime.
I think the problem is not using it, but how you use it.