The concept of belonging and acceptance is a major part of our modern society. Most stories and films represent belonging or alienation in one way or another. Strictly Ballroom, directed by Baz Luhrmann and the ‘Ugly Duckling’, a short story by Hans Christian Anderson, both represent the concept of acceptance and rejection through the use of many film and language techniques.
Strictly Ballroom represents belonging using a variety of techniques to distinguish between the world of artifice and the more realistic world. The image of the artificial world, shown as the ballroom world, is glitzy and colourful. Luhrmann has presented this world as having power, whereas the character of Fran, shown in plain clothes and reading…show more content…
Luhrmann has used costuming throughout Strictly Ballroom to convey his themes of belonging and stepping outside of the uniformity. Scott is seen in plain black and white, symbolic of him being a part of, yet different from those in the artificial ballroom world. Fran is seen to gain power as the film progresses and her costuming changes. Initially, she is seen in pastel colours, juxtaposed with the brightly dressed try-out girls, creating sympathy for Fran and the dissimilarity between them. Next seen in grey, which is symbolic of her striving to be more like Scott, half way between black and white. Finally she is placed beside Scott in black and white, visually equal where the audience see’s her entering the world of dancing your own steps; a real world compared to the artificiality of the ballroom world, and here she has a sense of belonging. Her transformation from a naïve and simplistic self into a confident whole with Scott is complete, as shown in the final scene as she dances with Scott in a glamorous dress which highlights her Spanish heritage. This switch of power from the ballroom world to the ‘real’ world of Fran is gradual, and is completed during the concluding scene, with the symbolic exposing of Barry Fife’s toupee, which is synonymous with the revealing of his real
Cinematic Techniques in Strictly Ballroom Essay
986 Words4 Pages
Extended Film Response
How the film techniques used by Baz Luhrman to influence the portrayal and development of characters in the film Strictly Ballroom?
In the film Strictly Ballroom, the director Baz Luhrman uses many different film techniques to influence the portrayal and development of characters. Costume and makeup is used as a vital technique to show the audience the characters’ personalities and also the development of some characters. Camera angles and lighting is another technique that is used to exaggerate the characters’ personalities and the scenes they are in. Luhrman also uses character behaviors as an effective technique in portraying each characters’ personality.
In the film Luhrman uses costume and makeup to…show more content…
Even though Fran became more confident, her costume and makeup still suited her personality. For example at the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix, all of the other female dancers wore bright coloured, revealing outfits, Fran wore a traditional red Spanish dress. At the end of the film Fran’s physical appearance changed dramatically and so did her confidence. These characters are good examples of how Luhrman uses costume and makeup to effectively influence the portrayal and development of characters in the film.
In Strictly Ballroom, Luhrman uses many different camera angles and lighting techniques to exaggerate scenes, settings and even characters’ personalities. An example of this is at the start of the film, when Scott Hastings is dancing by himself in a room, there is a bright, white spotlight on him as he dances, drawing the audience to watch him. This happens whenever Scott dances and it shows the audience that Scott has a sense of purity and that he is the protagonist of the film. Luhrman uses low angle shots when Scott and Fran are dancing at the end of the film, this is a good technique used so the audience can see them dancing and also gives the audience the impression that they are dominate and confident. Another character who is a good example of camera angles and film techniques being used on them to portray their personality is Barry Fife. Barry is a mean character and Luhrman uses dark, reddish lighting to make him seem evil.