Through the 1992 film Strictly Ballroom directed by Baz Luhrmann, the childrens biography by Beverley McGregor and the punk rock song Perfect by Simple Plan, composers illustrate both concepts of belonging and alienation . Through a range of cinematic and literary techniques these composers show how an individuals interaction with others and the world around them can enrich and limit their experiences of belonging. Baz Luhrmann through the film Strictly Ballroom utilizes costuming to suggest isolation as well as belonging and how it can either enrich or limit an individuals experience.
This is highlighted in the first scenes when viewers are introduced, through the mocumentary, to the flamboyancy of characters from the world of ballroom dancing such as Liz in her trademark gaudy canary colored outfits, and Shirley Hasting in her pink ball gowns that are matched to her ornate fuchsia eye shadow and lipstick. In contrast the character of Fran is dressed in a shapeless, oversized t-shirt and a close up of her face shows her naturally troubled skin free from makeup, wearing a large pair of thick-framed glasses.
This immediately segregates her from the rest of the competitors and supporters of Ballroom dancing, signifying to the audience that a lack of interaction with others can severely impact on ones sense of belonging. The split screen later in the film where Fran, in normal day clothes dances with Scott and on the other side of the curtain Tina Sparkle dances in her lurid sequined costume, further shows Frans alienation from the dancing world. However, the song she and Scott are dancing to is Doris Days Perhaps, suggesting that their partnership could possibly work.
The shock on Shirleys face and the use of the children as a Greek chorus Fran.. whod have thought also suggest an acceptance of Fran. This is soon dispelled as Fran trips and a low angle shot of Liz and Shirley as they attend to her and tell her to go home reminds the audience who belongs. Shirley and Lizs perception of belonging is enriched through their interaction with each other and their compatibility with the world of ballroom dancing.
When Scott is shown by Ricco how to dance the Passo Doble, a close up of his feet in dusty work shoes on bare timber of the floor contrasts with a previous close up of Scotts feet in shiny shoes on a highly polished floor. However, it is on this rough-hewn timber that Scott finally learns to dance from the heart and his experience of belonging is enriched. You introduce costuming here so keep to that your next paragraph is camera shots so do not confuse the two here. You could talk of costuming and characterization here but do not discuss camera techniques when that is part of your second discussion of the core text.
Similarly aspects of belonging and not belonging and how these feelings can enrich or limit an individuals experience are explored in Beverly McGregor childrens biography Pink Balloons. The protagonist Sky constantly suffers from alienation and rejection from her peers and their parents due to her recent diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. This can be seen through symbolism to express Skyes feelings of isolation, when she says to her carer Do you like my picture, the octopus has nine legs instead of eight, he is crying because he is different to the others.
This shows her feelings of inadequacy due to her inability to interact with the world around her and the limitations she faces in order to become accepted. This can be further expressed through the somber tone of the protagonist Skye as she relays her grief stating to her mother Mummy, its bad enough having AIDS without everyone staying away from you because they are scared they can get it too. Thus Skyes apparent isolation as can be seen through the discrimination she endures throughout the text, which significantly decreases her chances of interacting with others to enrich her own personal experience of belonging.
Continue here¦ In contrast, Skyes experiences of belonging are enhanced following her election to vice captain in her class as can be seen through the literary technique of a rhetorical question when Skye states they could have picked anybody, but who did they choose? . This highlights Skyes ability to feel a part of the world around her as a result of her eventual acceptance in her class, despite the constant stigma attached to her and her contraction of the HIV/AIDS virus.
Baz Luhrmann further exhibits belonging and not belonging and its effect on enriching or limiting an individuals experience in Strictly Ballroom through the implementation of camera techniques. This can be seen in the split screen where Fran and Scott are caught dancing together behind the crimson colored show curtains. Fran in an ordinary day dress is juxtaposed with Tina Sparkle in her lurid costume and sequins on the other side of the curtains. Scott and Fran dance to the Doris Day song Perhaps suggesting they could possibly be dance partners.
After Fran falls to the ground and is dragged stage left by Shirley Hastings and Liz to the powder room a low angle point of view shot signifies the alienation of Fran. Fran is seated on a stool and stares up at Mrs. Hastings and Liz showing the obvious superiority Shirleyand Liz feel over Fran. and further highlighted when Liz states youre a beginner Fran, what the hell did you think you were doing? Fran is then left isolated staring up at the huddled group of women representing her separation from the world of ballroom dancing.
When Shirley Hastings states, I think it will be better if you just went home and forgot about all this nonsense Frans rejection through this scene conveys her inability to enrich her experience of belonging in the world of ballroom dancing. Continue here¦. In comparison the final dance scene highlights the enrichment of a sense of belonging. This is conveyed through a long shot of the ballroom, which captures the acceptance of Fran and Scotts crowd-pleasing steps, when everybody begins to clap with Doug to enable them to continue their dance.
Crosscutting between The Pan Pacific Championships and Frans back yard is also utilized to express the relationship between Fran and Scott and their newfound connection with dancing. Scott no longer dances to win but for the love of the sport and to express the simplicity related to his relationship with Fran. This technique symbolizes that it does not matter where Fran and Scott dance as long as they are dancing together.
The implementation of Diagetic sound the Rumba De Burros in the concluding scene expresses the concept of belonging and allows the viewers to develop an understanding of the enrichment of Fran nd Scott when they are accepted in the world of ballroom dancing just the way they are. Additionally the song Perfect by the punk rock band Simple Plan displays how isolation can limit an individuals chance to belong. Perfect encapsulates feelings of worthlessness and insecurity as it explores the concept of rejection from the composers own father quote needed. The use of repetition as can be seen through the words I am sorry, I cant be perfect, and highlights how feeling inadequate can segregate an individual from their world.
Repetition is effective as it reinforces the deviation of the composer and provides the audience with a clear understanding of the separation between the writer and his father. The reminiscent nature of the lyrics can be seen through the rhetorical question Did you know, you used to be my hero? , this engages the listener and alerts them to the change in the relationship while expressing the passionate tone of the song and the eventual acceptance of the turbulent relationship by the protagonist.
Colloquial language, Hey Dad appeals to a young audience and invites them to have an insight into the father and sons personal life to allow them to understand the hurt that is felt by the son in their dysfunctional relationship. Likewise the song writer constantly uses rhetorical questions to address his father and express his feelings of inadequacy such as Did I grow up, according to your plan?. Thus it can be understood that due to the rejection experienced by the lyricist at the hands of his father it limits his opportunity to experience a sense of belonging.
You need to discuss the music when you talk about a song otherwise you must only talk about it as the lyrics¦ In conclusion various composers have utilized literary, visual and sound techniques to convey aspects of belonging, and how this can limit or enrich ones reaction to the world around them. Through the analysation of Strictly Ballroom, Pink Balloons and Perfect we can enhance our understanding of belonging and different obstacles that prevent an individual from feeling accepted.