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Strictly Ballroom Essay

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The spectacle of "strictly ballroom." The expressionistic film "Strictly Ballroom" composed by Baz Luhrmann is about the spectacle of ballroom dancing. Tough not always in a literal sense, the film is not strictly about ball room dancing but also a "microcosm of society". Moreover the contradictory forces within the society and the use of image to mediate social relations. Strictly Ballroom is a core analyst of culture in modern society which applies to relationships. The way in which someone dresses and dances is their image and that mediates the way they conduct relationships in the micro-society. The spectacle begins. The opening stages present itself as a fairy tale, the first thing we see is the red drape and "Strictly Ballroom" written like it was taken straight from a Children's classic. This technique is used to let people know they are watching a fair tale, a spectacle. The first we see of the characters is them awaiting the competition, exuberant for the coming contest. ...read more.


Barry is quick to let ever one know "there are no new steps", why because if you can't teach the new steps you can't turn a profit from them. So latter on in the movies the scene in with Barry confronts Scott in the kitchen, Barry ask "where would we be if every one went around making up their own steps" Scott replies "out of a job". The composer has let as know the core of the dance federation. The dance federation with its vested interest creates a false need the pan-pacific competition. In order to attain this goal you need a certain image, the right steps and right presentation. The culture of the dance federation is their commodity, if you need traditional steps to win the end goal you need to learn them. Thus the dance federations dance studios profit from teaching the dance federations steps. If you do not have the dance federations prescribed image you're relationship within the society are mediated differently to others with the right image. ...read more.


At the Pan Pacific competition, Fran and Scott almost don't dance together. But after Scott spends a brief time looking for Fran and convinces her to dance. During this time another couple discovers that it was all a farce, rigged nothing more then a spectacle the winners of the competition were pre-selected. Then Scott and Fran take the dance floor Barry fife tries to stop them dancing. First Barry grasps the microphone to disqualify them and then Barry's wife turns the music off. Fran and Scott stop dancing for a second until people starts to clap and gradually ever one else is clapping. This gives both Scott and Fran rhythm to dance, they dance and everyone from the seats comes into the floor. The composer shows Barry fife defeated and humiliated and then Scott, Fran and hundreds of people dancing freely this shot gives a sense of liberation. This film like Baz Luhrmann said himself is a "microcosm of society" showing the culture industry, the spectacle in all its ugliness. ...read more.

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