Strictly Ballroom, directed by Australia’s own Baz Luhrmann, is one of the most successful movies of all time. The characteristics of this film, which have led to its worldwide success, are the editing and the style of directing that Baz Luhrmann present’s to the audience, as well as the characters and the storyline of the film. The flamboyant style of directing is best shown in the opening scene of the movie. The first thing we see is the red curtain and “Strictly Ballroom” written in traditional –fairytale like font. This technique is used to let people know they are watching a literal “fairy tale” After the opening of the red curtain; we see of the characters is them awaiting the competition, exuberant for the coming contest. The message conveyed by the preparations of the dancers is that they are preparing for something of great importance, a very significant event. The impact of the slow motion section in this scene enhances the elegance and the formality of the scene. Finally the dancers emerge with a dramatic change of lighting and the conventional, elegant atmosphere of the ballroom dancing world is revealed through the use of a combination of techniques such as music of the traditional Blue Danube Waltz by Strauss, flamboyant costumes. The camera movements are long flowing tracking and pan shots which emphasize the smooth and graceful flow of the waltz being performed. However, this is a false interpretation of the characters’ true lives. These fancy costumes only mask the inability of federation dance steps to express the beauty in dancing and hence the inability of these dancers to express themselves as an individual. Our opinion on the very delicate and pretty world quickly changes as we hear Shirley shrill voice yelling out “come on 100” this quickly alerts us to the fact that behind the glitter and face smiles, ballroom dancing is a competitive sport where winning is very important. As the dance progresses, the long flowing...
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