Friday, June 21, 2019

Men In Tights And The Ladies Who Love Them

We recently lost the great Franco Zeffirelli, whose colorful and lusty 1968 version of Romeo And Juliet is what I think of every time somebody quotes from this play. I saw it complete for the first time in high school, although it was an ABC Sunday Night Movie version which removed about 30 seconds of Romeo's bare buttocks, and one second of Juliet's bare breasts.

A look at the films
that have left a mark on my life.
My English teacher explained before pressing the play button on the ancient U-Matic VTR (what schools were using years before VHS took root) that you could tell who the Capulets were because they were "the real flashy dressers." She added, "Yes, the men do wear leotards."

Yes, in a way. They're wearing Renaissance-era Italian hose, multicolored tights with prominent codpieces.

"Hey, you gotta protect the goods," a colleague remarked when I explained how the movie aimed for historic accuracy in the crotch. But I don't think protection was the goal as much as showing things off.

And you know, any time there's a beautiful ball scene, I'm on it.

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