Film

Romeo and Juliet as Film Noir

When I read that Kenneth Branagh was going to set his Garrick Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet in the world of Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and film noir, I feared the worst. To be sure, he has employed similar devices before—Love’s Labour’s Lost as a Hollywood musical, Twelfth Night in a wintry Victorian garden, even As You Like It in nineteenth-century Japan. But for me there is always the problem that a sixteenth-century play invariably evokes the time it was created. Where are the rapiers they talk about? Somehow in “modern” productions a knife or an edged weapon of…

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