English Notes Belonging – Strictly Ballroom (1992)
1. Introduction to Belonging & Strictly Ballroom
* 1 core text + 2 related texts of your own choosing
* Link them by concept NOT content (i.e. don’t link by setting, character or plot/events) * Belonging to a group can establish your sense of identity e.g.: * Scott Hastings – included
* Mr Hastings (Doug) – excluded
* Mrs Hastings (Shirley) – included
* Fran – excluded
* Concept: ‘the struggle or fight to belong is an innate (essential) quality in people’ * Director: Baz Luhrmann
* Iconic Australian Film
* Key Scenes:
* Scott and Fran begin to dance together – she asks him for a ‘chance’. * Fran’s house – where Scott is taught how to dance the ‘Paso Doble’ by Fran’s father. * Dancing at the competition – Fran and Scott after they’re told not to. * ‘Blocked in’ – when Scott and Liz are dancing in the Pan Pacific’s. * Scott’s father (Doug) dances with his wife – reconciliation.
2. Opening Titles/Waratah Championships
* Opening music (traditional Strauss waltz) emphasises ‘magnificence’ of ballroom dancing juxtaposed with Scott’s mother yelling out as though she’s at a football match (strong ‘Aussie’ accent). The strong references immediately to being Australian are concerned with cultural stereotype: * These strategies connect to the concept of belonging because to fit the stereotype can mean to be included or excluded. Strictly Ballroom raises universal concepts about the ability to it in or be accepted. * Universal concepts – ideas that are common to us all. We do not necessarily experience these in the same way but we recognise ideas about multiculturalism, gender roles, stereotyping and identity. * Fran is represented as not belonging as she is not as pretty or as cosmetically overdone as the rest of the ballroom dancers.
* Waratah Championships – Scott dares to dance his own steps, dazzling the audience with his own steps. His mother, his dance coach (Les Kendall) and Barry Fife prevent him from exploring his individuality because the traditional world of ballroom dancing gives them a sense of belonging and they don’t want this to change. 3. Strictly Ballroom Specific Scene Analysis – Example Essay
I am choosing to analyse a number of scenes, selected from the feature film, ‘Strictly Ballroom’ (1992) because they strongly represent the understanding I have reached regarding to the belonging concept. The ‘mirror scene’ connects strongly to the belonging concept because it portrays Scott dancing his own steps and thus conveying that he does not belong to the ‘norm’ of ballroom dancing. The mirror is seen as a symbol of self-expression as Scott uses it to watch himself dance his ‘non-federation’ steps. Scott is portrayed as a mixture of passion and ambition with flashing eyes that indicate his non-conformist, rebellious personality. He has the skills to win the Pan Pacific’s but he defies the rules by adding ‘non-federation’ steps to his routine. He wants to dazzle the crowds and do things his own way. Scott’s uncommon sense of outrage appears when Fran suggests that he should partner her. Like Scott, Fran also challenges family traditions and shows courage in standing up against her father and dance studio extremists like Liz. Fran began as a shy character, often seen dancing with a girl or alone, yet she displays great courage when she asks to be Scott’s partner. When Scott refuses her offer, she bravely calls him a ‘gutless wonder’. To be continued…
4. SCENES 46-66. Tryout Montage and Dance Practice
While others attempt to find a new partner for Scott, he practices with Fran. * The montage which takes up the bulk of this sequence covers most of the three weeks before the Pan Pacific Grand Prix. The four strands are linked with the song ‘Time after Time’.
* One of the strands was the ‘try-out’s’ scene. The...
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