"Strictly Ballroom" Directed By Baz Luhrman

1003 words - 4 pages

Strictly ballroom directed by Baz Luhrman depicts a microcosm of society through the use of image. The responder plays witness to the superficial world that we live in, the power hungry characters that inhabit this world and the few individuals who dare to be different and carpe diem. All of which portray an image of key aspects that can be seen throughout society. Similarly, these ideas are also satirized through the use of image in the music video stupid girl directed by Todd Holland and a deeper realization of the impact image has on society can be gathered from deconstruction of the oil painting of Mohammad Ali obtained from google images by LeRoy Neiman.We are given insight to the struggle for individuality in the micro society depicted by Luhrman through the use of visual imagery and camera techniques. The key scene that depicts individuality is when Scott first takes the plunge and decides to dance his own steps in the beginning of the film. This scene is given depth by the slow motion movements which can be used to emphasize or dramatize the scene. The close up of Scott accentuates his content. Similarly, stupid girl promotes individuality by satirizing superficiality. "Im so glad that Ill never fit in, that will never be me". Holland uses a low angle shot to empower pink and accentuate her individuality. This satirist styled approach allows us to understand the significance of being an individual through the aid of camera techniques. Neimans depiction of Ali similarly portrays Alis' individuality. Ali is known for his unique personality and tactics which is depicted in this image. His character stands out and is dominant in the picture suggesting his separation from "the norm". The brightness of his character, juxtaposed to the blurred background highlights that individuality is an admirable trait. This helps shape the responders understanding of how image can influence our role in society through its emphasis on individuality.Luhrman also satirizes power in strictly ballroom. This is evident in the final scene where Barry tries to overpower Scott and Fran and stop them dancing. Scott and Fran continue to dance their own steps and Barry's whole world goes tumbling down metaphorically and physically. The scene is given depth by using a high angle shot suggesting that Barry has lost his power. The colour red in his face signifies his miss intentions. This idea is given more depth in the final scene of stupid girl. There is a standoff for power between good and evil with the red devil signifying Barry and the white angel signifying Scott. Naturally, the power of good prevails over evil with the red devil disappearing as the character in the song decides not to be "a stupid girl" and be an individual. Similarly, power is exemplified to an even greater extent in Leroy's' depiction of Ali. Ali's image is dominant in the scene highlighting his strength and...

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