Strictly Ballroom Belonging

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John O’Donohue once said: “To be human is to belong. Belonging is a circle that embraces everything; if we reject it, we damage our nature. Belonging is deep; only in a sense does it refer to our external attachment to people, places and things. It is the living and passionate presence of the soul. When we deny it, we grow cold and empty” The film Strictly Ballroom, which is directed by Baz Lurhmann, demonstrates many aspects of belonging and not belonging including alienation and rejection, which focuses on the two main characters Scott and Fran, and also the conflict of cultures, where two worlds come together and collide. Scott is an expert dancer who has been dancing since he was six. He is very sexy, and this is illustrated through his clothing and his svelte actions. Although Scott comes across as a confident and even comfortable person, he actually feels alienated and rejected when he is told by Barry Fife “You can dance your own steps, but it doesn’t mean you’ll win.” On the contrary, we have Fran. A beginner dancer, who dances with a girl and does not fit in. She is not pretty, wears fish bowl glasses and dresses like a dag. Put simply, Fran is a frump. We see the alienation and rejection in the scene where Scott is dancing on his own, while Fran is secretly watching, and wanting to dance with Scott. There are many techniques used, including music, sound effects such as Scott stomping and sliding, and rapid fire editing which focuses the audience’s attention on Fran. The purpose of this is to emphasise that Fran doesn’t belong. The when Scott asks Fran “What are you doing here” he is implying that she doesn’t belong there, which the audience are already aware of. Scott then says “A beginner has no right to approach and open amateur” which just further enforces the aspect of not belonging and rejection. Throughout the film, we see that culture differences place restriction on Fran and Scott. Scott is a white Anglo-Saxon man, that comes from a successful...
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