Formative Strictly Ballroom

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Texts represent certain perspectives on belonging which challenge us to understand our own world. This is evident in the film “Strictly Ballroom” directed by Baz Luhrmann. The style of the film is “Red Curtain” cinema which means conveys the ballroom dancing world is surreal and artificial. This film explores what it means to belong or not belong to a well-defined group. This is presented through the opening sequence by showing how Scott, Fran and Doug don’t belong to the group of ballroom dancers. The director grew up in the world of ballroom competitions. Luhrmann’s purpose was to be able to tell a story in his own particular way, “telling our own stories in our own way that is what the film is about for me”. The opening scenes explore aspects of not belonging and no being accepted. The ballroom dancing group demonstrates a veneer of belonging. The group itself is the same in appearance and behaviour but lacks emotional connection with other. They value tradition and authority. To belong to this world means sacrificing individual identity. A high angle shot is used to show the dancers competing in the competition, it also show the walls of the room they are dancing in. This represents their confinement to the outside world as well as their conformity because they are all dancing the same steps. We understand that when people conform to a group they become restricted and separated from the rest of the world. The close ups of Barry Fife and the judges sitting above the dancers shows that they have more power. This symbolises that they have authority within the ballroom dancing group and are the people that enforce the tradition of strict rules and regulations. From this we understand that when there is authority and power in a group there are rules to be followed that stop people from having an individual identity. The make-up of the women defines them as belonging to a certain group and symbolises their values, for example the women of the ballroom dancing wear...
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