Friday, July 24, 2009

Long Ago Love

I always sleep with the t.v. on. I KNOW it's not good for me, but I do it anyway. The weird thing is, I have to have something interesting on to watch or it bugs me. There are a lot of nights that I wake up, don't like what is on, and start flipping through channels. I always start with the movie channels, since most everything else in the wee hours is infomercials. Last week while I was channel surfing, I noticed that one of the movie channels was showing the 1968 Franco Zeferelli version of Romeo and Juliet. Of course, this is the version that English instructors use to torture most Freshman. As most of you know, I'm not typical. It never was torture for me. In fact, I fell in love with Romeo and Juliet. I spent many teenage waking hours pining for Romeo, reading the play, watching the movie, listening to the soundtrack, making notes, watching other versions, etc. Unfortunately, Romeo became my model of the perfect guy, which at 14 you don't realize may cause problems. Let's just say that I went through a teenage obsession phase.

Suddenly in that early morning, I found myself wide awake and mesmorized by the story once more. I had really forgotten just HOW GOOD it really is. The film is just beautifully shot and the locations were gorgeous. It was shot in Technicolor. I LOVE Technicolor. Say what you want about digital, but it just doesn't compare to the colors and the richness of Technicolor. Not to mention the costumes. Oh the costumes were masterpieces. It also has two of the most beautiful stars in the leading roles. What young, teenage girl hasn't dreamed of being Juliet? Anyway, that late night showing rekindled one of my past loves. This past weekend, Casey bought me the DVD and the soundtrack. I no longer have my worn out VHS copy, and I'd lost my original vinyl soundtrack album along the way through moves somehow. So, I've been enjoying my past love over this last week. As you all know, I HAD to do research. I needed to know about the stars, where they are now, what internet goodies are out there, etc., and I found that I've had a lot of fun in the process. I've also re-read the play this past week as well. Both Juliet (Olivia Hussey) and Romeo (Leonard Whiting) are alive and both doing well, and say what you will, I think they've aged rather gracefully. No one looks 17 forever. There are still legions of fans around the world that love the film and keep it alive for new generations. That's the great thing about technology today. It keeps long, forgotten loves alive and well into the present, so I can obsess over it for years to come.

Oh yes, and what's the new thing about Romeo and Juliet today? Well, there's a huge debate that Leonard Whiting and Zac Efron look alike? Being old school, I sort of see it, but no. What do you guys think?

Romeo and Juliet (Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting) 1968:


Romeo and Juliet (Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting) 2003:


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