Billy Elliot

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 345
  • Published : May 23, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Billy Elliot
Context:
Margaret Thatcher --- Thatcherism
1979 – 1990
Harsh policies – free trade, no government intervention in business, increase in rate of tax for lower income, decrease in rate of tax for higher income •Set in 1984, Durran, Coalfield mining town in England

Film:
Strong family images (still images) vs. strike of miners = rich family life vs. violence (contrast) •Scab = industrial relations talk – people who go to work even when union is on strike •Cultural – ballet vs. boxing

Setting deliberately places boxing and ballet in one room = two extremes •Billy with grandmother – cleaning mothers gravestone
Working class – industrial chimneys
Grey and bleak images – symbolic of plight of the working class •Green of grass vs. factory buildings
Debbie walking past police – stick on wall  shields – shows that children have grown up with police everywhere •Masculinity concerns – hesitant due to gender expectations •Time frames  gym, home, determination

Piano man – cynical comments, symbolise mining town ideology •Sharp contrast between ballet and violence
Tension between father and son shown in close ups
Soundtrack: T-Rex Children of a revolution (youthful expression), The Clash •Dancing = emotion
Michael – young homosexual child… Billy – heterosexual } typecast •Mrs Wilkinson – saviour, symbolic halo effect, silhouette, hope and faith for Billy, gives him a chance to break free from working class (teacher who helps troubled young pupil, guardian angel) •Parallel stories – pressure on mining families, suffering families and paralleling it with pursuing dancing dream and desire •Setting of Billy – trapped in bathroom stall (psychological state) •Archetypical hero – overcomes obstacles (gender, class, effort to do dancing) •Repetition of father-son fight – woman slaps Billy

Towering structure of infrastructure juxtaposed with swan lake music ---- struggle getting from working class to professional dancer •Imagination – images of mother, memories
Melancholy scene
Childhood innocence – Debby and Billy
Scene of police shields running towards camera – “London Calling” by Clash, sympathises with miners, violence, blood, totalitarian, brother arrested •Family values
Turning point scene – all family find out about royal ballet school – “I don’t want to be a child, I want to be a ballet dancer” •All family members looking up to Billy in close up shots, •Cuts from scenes between fighting between brother and Mrs Wilkinson (class tension) to Billy dancing (releases emotions) •Enclosed spaces – setting = society closing in on him

Walls on either side, blue sky above, dancing through street = freedom •Barrier = forces against him (society)
Dad axing piano = uses wood in fire
Dramatic irony – Michael admits he’s gay, Billy says he’s not gay •Father walks into scene with Billy and Michael
Father realises how talented Billy is
Father’s ultimate sacrifice to son – joins scabs (to raise money for Billy’s ballet) see internal conflict for Billy’s dad  embarrassed, immasculinated •Father selling mothers jewellery, keeps spirit of wife in Billy’s dream •Vast difference of setting – crowded, bleak, grey mining town…. London greenness, vast building, bird’s eye view • “isn’t there a giant cathedral in that town?” shows difference in class and contrast •Scrutiny of panel  close ups of Billy’s face

Billy brought up in violent household  Billy is not a violent person (he is caring) the enormous cultural conflict class differentiation ---- boy represents the system •Judge comments and raises doubts about fathers commitments  his sacrifices are huge •Billy’s victory is not a win for the miners  the union caved into the strike vs. Billy’s news •Juxtaposition of grey factories and graveyard  lives and struggles •Father/son relationship closer  more understanding , the underlying love is strong •The little girl is symbolic of the...
tracking img