R+J is a live-action fulldome film, a modern artful adaptation of the famous drama "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare. It's a milestone in the history of film: the first fulldome movie, shot in the fulldome format, with real actors on real sets.
The film was shot in 2003 on the Canary Islands. R+J premiered during IPS 2004 in Valencia. Steven Savage from Sky-Skan gave a very moving introductory speech with the legendary sentence: "You will see the very first kiss in the dome". R+J was first shown to the public as a Valentine's Day Program at The Exploration Place in Wichita, KS.
The "play in a play" starts in a desert. A group of young people pulls a truck with building materials through an empty landscape until they discover the "right spot". They stop the truck and start building a stage from wood and fabric as a party space. Finally the stage is ready and the play can begin.
A huge party starts which gradually escalates into a kaleidoscopically sensual orgy. Juliet moves around. She is totally lost, pushed forward by the wild party crowd, until she suddenly ends up in the embrace of a young man — Romeo. Their eyes lock, but Juliet is pulled away, she has to continue to dance.
Romeo is exhausted. He backs out into a quiet corner. He leans against a large wooden ladder. Suddenly he discovers the beautiful Juliet, who had fallen into his arms, up on the balcony. They are overwhelmed by tender love, which leads to a first kiss.
But Romeo and Juliet are only powerless pawns in a game between two hostile families, the Capulets and the Montagues. Juliet's cousin Tybalt challenges Romeo to a fight. Tybalt loses. In a wild ecstatic fist fight Romeo kills Tybalt.
Romeo escapes to Juliet. She is torn between their love and his bloody deed. But once more they are able to forget reality and, as if wrapped in a cocoon, they live out their love. They enjoy their first night together. When the new day dawns, Romeo has to flee, the prince has sentenced him to exile for his crime.
Tragedy takes its course. The priest resorts to a trick: he gives Juliet a potion, which will seem to kill her. Unaware of this subterfuge Romeo secretly returns from exile and finds the allegedly dead Juliet in her crypt. In his desperation, he takes true poison to be united with her in eternal love. While he is dying Juliet wakes up from unconsciousness and finds Romeo. She kisses him in joy, anger and finally in the desperate attempt to get some of the poison from his lips and die with him. She succeeds.
Romeo and Juliet are united in death. But that's only a play in a warm desert night. After the tragic ending, the party goes on with dancing and celebrating.
Running time: 21:05
Suitable for: General Public
Year of production: 2004
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