Film Features
Film Features

Before Its Time: 1996's "Romeo + Juliet"

Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet is an ecstasy-infused, colorful retelling of the star-crossed lovers' tale that takes a 425-year-old story and strangely reflects society in 2021.

Pandemics are known for triggering upheaval and societal change.

It's probably no coincidence, then, that Shakespeare penned Romeo and Juliet around 1595—directly in the middle of the deadly Bubonic plague pandemic that ravaged Europe. Amidst today's pandemic, the most relevant adaptation of this timeless and classic tragedy was made 25 years ago.

Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet is an ecstasy-infused, colorful retelling of the star-crossed lovers' tale. Romeo + Juliet made a decent ranking at the box office, but it was heavily overlooked for awards, only receiving one Oscar nomination for best art direction.

Had Luhrmann waited just 10 years to release Romeo + Juliet, there may have been more positive reactions to the film. At one point, Baz himself doubted that the movie would ever be made. During a 2015 interview discussing the film, Baz said: "When we went to Twentieth Century-Fox with it, under the terms of my first-look deal, I think rather than let me go, they sort of said, 'We'll give him $100,000, let him do his little workshop and maybe it'll go away.' Well it did not."

Romeo + Juliet takes a 425-year-old story and strangely reflects society in 2021. Here's why:

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CULTURE

​Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya’s Best Dune Press Outfits

The press tour heard around the world

The long awaited Denis Villeneuve adaptation of Frank Herbert's "Dune" is here.

After years pining for its release, theaters have reopened and Dune is finally screening for us to marvel at its splendor. And marvel we will.

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Film Features

Use of Deepfake Anthony Bourdain Voice in New Documentary Sparks Outrage—But Is it Immoral?

What autonomy should artists and beloved cultural figures have over their legacy after they pass?

If Anthony Bourdain wanted to be anything, it was to be genuine.

All you have to do is watch a few minutes of the famous chef onscreen to recognize that a desire for authenticity was at the core of his life, a quality reflected in every interaction he had and every painstakingly written voiceover he uttered. Of course, the always wry chef never would have used that word, though in an NPR interview he once described his favorite kind of restaurant as just that, saying, "It's, for lack of a better word - I hate this word, but I'll use it anyway - authentic."

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CULTURE

Before Its Time: "Bring It On" and the Black TikTok Strike

If you've watched "Bring It On," the ongoing TikTok drama should feel familiar.

The Clovers are the blueprint

The late-90s to early 2000s was the heyday of cult-classic, kitschy high school dramas.

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Film News

Please Make the Gabrielle Union and John Cho Romcom Happen

Gabrielle Union is stoking Twitter fires asking for a movie starring her and John Cho

Them. That's it. That's the tweet.

Every few months, Twitter users become screenwriters and use the TL to concoct elaborate concepts of films they want to see and actors they want to cast, and every so often these pseudo-storyboard threads go viral.

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James Bond and Pussy Galore, "Goldfinger" (1965)

When I decided to re-watch all of the James Bond movies in chronological order, I wasn't exactly expecting a politically correct, feminist franchise that would pass the Bechdel test with flying colors.

My memory of the early movies consisted of a lot of smarmy one-liners, plenty of women in those kind of pointy bikini tops, bad guys with Russian or German accents, and loads of shots of Sean Connery's legs. As far as Bond's relationship with women, I remembered that he was unquestionably a womanizer and women often just melted into his arms, apparently seduced by the mere sight of him. I was prepared to laugh at these outdated tropes and accept the movies' questionable gender dynamics as a product of a different time. I wasn't expecting to see point blank sexual assault.

WARNING: Discussion of rape and sexual assault.

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