• A member of the original wondercafe, Punkins has passed away. There's a thread in the In Memoriam section
  • Our new header image is our own private beach. See Council News & Business for more.

Franco Zefferelli, RIP

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
25,967
Reaction score
14,464
The great Italian film and stage director has left us at the age of 96. He leaves a legacy of films, operas, and even a TV miniseries (Jesus of Nazareth). Zefferelli's style was big and lush. I remember seeing a Zefferelli production of the opera Turandot on TV and it was big and glittering, grand opera at its finest. He was also, late in life, a politician and, oddly given that he came out as gay in 1996, a right-wing social conservative in the Berlusconi government. So not without his warts, but certainly an important artistic figure of the twentieth century.

 

ninjafaery

I just Am
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
404
I have never seen Romeo and Juliet done so beautifully. It very much stands up (of course it's a Shakespeare play) but it was a visual treat and score was lush. It was unique at the time because he had such a fresh approach. The young actors were my age at the time (14).

He was an artist.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
25,967
Reaction score
14,464
It's probably an age thing. I didn't really encounter it until later in life and I remain "meh" on both it and on the play in general.
 

ninjafaery

I just Am
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
404
It's probably an age thing. I didn't really encounter it until later in life and I remain "meh" on both it and on the play in general.
You may be right. Back in the day, it was a big deal though. Lots of publicity. I wonder now if the actors were underage for some of the nude scenes they did. That probably wouldn't happen now.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
25,967
Reaction score
14,464
I wonder now if the actors were underage for some of the nude scenes they did. That probably wouldn't happen now.
If you read the obit I posted, Olivia Hussey did, indeed, do nude scenes underage for that film. Apparently there are even stories that say she was barred from the screenings because she was too young to see nudity (but old enough to do it??) but the article says those seem to be apocryphal.
 

ninjafaery

I just Am
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
404
I forgot he directed Taming of the Shrew just prior to Romeo and Juliet. It had the same aethsetic, but comedic instead of tragic.
Sorry about the cursory skimming of your bbc obit. Olivia Hussey was only 15 and Leonard Whiting 17.
I remember Olivia Hussey also played Mary Magdalene in the film version of Jesus Christ Superstar a few years later.
Yes. I was one of those young people lured to Shakespeare by seeing my generation portrayed as real youth.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
25,967
Reaction score
14,464
I remember Olivia Hussey also played Mary Magdalene in the film version of Jesus Christ Superstar a few years later.
Close, but off by a bit. She played Mary, the mother of Jesus, in Zefferelli's TV miniseries Jesus of Nazareth but wasn't in Superstar.

Weirdly, she's done some voice acting in the past couple decades, playing Talia al Ghul in some of the DC animated shows. Talia is the daughter of Batman villain Ras al Ghul and had a child with Bruce Wayne at one point in the comics (not sure if that made its way in the TV shows). However, that's starting to drift off topic.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla
Messages
25,967
Reaction score
14,464
Okay, one more off-topic post about Hussey: per Wiki, she actually reunited with Leonard Whiting in a 2015 movie called Social Suicide, the first they've worked together since Romeo and Juliet.
 
Top