Twenty years since its release onto the big screen, Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo+Juliet continues to attract viewers, divide critics and remain unchallenged, in a league of its own, when it comes to film adaptation of Shakespeare’s plays. This article begins with taking stock of reception directions which still dispute the field of film adaptation. Cued by Worthen’s “Performance Paradigm”, my argument positions Luhrmann’s film (his second at the time and the one to propel the Australian director into Hollywood fame) firmly in the cinematic and sees the film narrative not as opposed to the textual and/or spoken one, but as a complex citational practice developed at the level of oral, visual and written discourse.
Dr Nicoleta Cinpoeş is Principal Lecturer in English at the University of Worcester, UK, where she teaches Renaissance literature and film adaptation, and is co-director of the Early Modern Research Group. She is particularly interested in early modern drama in performance viewed as site-, time- and media-specific and her research takes place through reconstructing productions, writing theatre history and reading performance hermeneutics.