Billy Elliot

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Billy Elliot
Select scenes from this film and explain how the director has used filming techniques to create the atmosphere and develop the themes.

‘Billy Elliot’ directed by Stephen Daldry outlines the transition of Billy Elliot, from a constrained society with limited expectations and restrictive gender roles, out into the broad horizons of the larger world. Daldry effectively used a range of filming techniques such as camera angles, camera shots and dialogue to develop the theme of moving into the world. This process is seen by the hardships Billy encounters within his society, his perseverance and the support he later receives to successfully move into the world.

While venturing new experiences, Billy encounters various obstacles and hardships; he is inhibited and distressed from the restrictions of male gender roles in his society. Namely, a male doing ballet is considered inappropriate and this culture is reinforced by Billy’s father, “Lads do football or boxing or wrestling. Not friggin ballet.” Consequently, Billy’s frustration is expressed through a scene showing his dance that follows an argument about his future between Mrs Wilkinson and his brother, Tony. Cut ins of his feet furiously dancing illustrate his passion, while the panning of the endless brick walls of the village symbolise the obstruction that he suffers. This suggests that although Billy’s transition into the world is hindered, his commitment to dance as an emotional release allows him to explore his thwarted ambitions.

Furthermore, Billy’s perseverance is a significant factor for him to move into the world. Once again, the brick walls in the streets symbolise the physical barrier of Billy who is forbidden to dance. Nevertheless, Billy conveys his perseverance and commitment towards dancing in many situations to keep his hopes up. There is a scene where Billy repeatedly fails to land pirouette during one of the private lessons with Mrs Wilkinson. He feels reluctant to continue...
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