Daily Archives: February 19, 2015

T3 :: of film as text, juxtaposition and Baz Luhrmann





So, for my Shakespeare unit, I’ve been telling my students that everything is text.

And I’ve also been telling them that it is imperative to be able to deconstruct and evaluate all text. Sadly, the “blink and you’ll miss it” mentality fostered by our current instantaneous digital society devalues deep thought and thoughtful analysis, both of which  require a slower pace to accomplish.

Very few are willing to commit to a slower pace anymore. But if we continue to “consume” texts so quickly, blindly and indiscriminately, we run the risk of following the path that the satirical film, Idiocracy, had set out in chilling detail. However, neither can we combat the fact that film and the internet and social media are here to stay.

So we must find a way to bridge the gap between the fast pace of information production and the slow pace of information evaluation. Sadly, I don’t have a definitive answer for you, but I think performing a “literary criticism” on a film could be a step in the right direction. And what better material to do so than with William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet versus Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet?

Since this is a style blog and not a teaching blog, though, I shall not subject you to any more academic musings. (But if you’re interested, may I suggest this article that breaks down the film based on how the production crew interpreted the original source material?) For the rest of my regular readers, an explanation of today’s rather abstruse post:

Firstly, I haven’t been reading very much this month because I’m back to writing and revising Dissever (Yay! I finally have a working title for my novel!) but I needed a post on my own T3 linkup, so I thought to be efficient and combine my professional life with my blogging life by using R&J (text and film) as my style source material.

Then, fortuitously, this week happens to be Movie Mania over at SpyGirl’s 52 Pick-me-up which meant my fortuitous combining of professional and blogging lives worked with that as well.

I didn’t want to come to school all costume-y, however. Luckily for me, the Luhrmann film utilizes a contemporary clothing aesthetic as outlined in this quote:

[The]Capulets’ style “is more decorative and the Montague kids are more utilitarian…The Capulets wear ornamental and expensive pieces of clothing, and bullet-proof vests have become required accessories… The Capulets are more manicured and preening and wear clothes that are extremely well-cut and body conscious….

With the Montague boys, it’s sort of a Vietnam feeling. They carry weapons but they wear whatever they want, like at the end of Vietnam War, when the soldiers wore Hawaiian shirts and shorts and indigenous hats. They invented their own way of wearing clothes to suit the climate and the surroundings. The Montagues…wear their hair very short and sport these lush Hawaiian-style shirts which are vibrant and colorful, so everyone knows who they are.

Finally, I’d been toying with the concept of “whimsical juxtaposition” as my personal style niche, and the diametrically opposed style of these two households, although “both alike in dignity”, really struck a chord.

So when you take all these things into consideration, you come up with an OOTD that juxtaposes the body consciousness of the Capulets (snakeskin leggings and OTK boots) with the colorful vibrancy of the Montagues (floral peasant blouse) as represented in a film (52 Pick-me-up compliant) based on a play (T3 compliant) and which reflects my unique fashion aesthetic.

And you? Any texts resonate with you enough to inspire an ensemble? Do link and tell…


:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Top – H&M
Leggings – YOOX
Boots – jcp

:: Grooveshark it ::
When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars