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Camera Positions in Strictly Ballroom - Movie Review Example

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Summary
'Strictly Ballroom' is the title of an Australian Romantic Comedy, which was a play in 1986 and later made into a movie in 1992. The film was written and directed by Baz Luhrmann and the story revolves around a ballroom dancer, Scott Hastings…
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Camera Positions in Strictly Ballroom
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R.Preeti 18th April, 2007 Camera Positions in 'Strictly Ballroom' Story Outline 'Strictly Ballroom' is the of an Australian Romantic Comedy, which was a play in 1986 and later made into a movie in 1992. The film was written and directed by Baz Luhrmann and the story revolves around a ballroom dancer, Scott Hastings. He belongs to a family that possesses a history of traditional ballroom dancing and is bequeathed with the same skills, which he tries to modify rather than yielding to the traditional steps endorsed by the traditional dancers. He faces umpteen amount of resistance and criticism. Evidently Ballroom Dancing forms the crux of the story.
Camera Movements and Positions
In the world of movie-making, the camera is one of the main sources of adding life to the story and the characters, by capturing the drama, emotions and characterization; which carry forward the whole essence of the storyline and the objective behind making the movie. Similarly, the Camera Movement in the movie captures the very essence of Ballroom Dancing! Since the whole movie revolves around dancing as its theme, the camera too lends free movement and style!

In the first few scenes in the movie that establish the dance movements, the camera is used to capture pan shots that sway from one side to the other and long shots. These camera movements set in the feel and mood of graceful dance movements, complementing them at each stage! In the next instance, when Latin dance movements comes into the forefront, the camera plays its role to the finesse, by capturing quick, fast-paced movements to carry home to the viewers, the agility associated with Latin dancing. This exhibits the impact the camera can create, in capturing pace!
As mentioned in the outline of the story, 'Strictly Ballroom' relates the efforts of Hastings to break free from the norm and introduce his own style of dancing, infusing them with the traditional movements of ballroom dancing. To accentuate this, the camera movements also incorporate freestyle positions, attempting to give it a novel feel. Ken and his aide create a cordon and when Hastings is shown breaking through the same and breaking into some freestyle dancing, the camera begets life and becomes the epitome of spontaneity and freedom!
When the film shows the lack of skillfulness in the amateur, untrained dancers, the camera too does not show much movement, which shows the unprofessional and unfinished dancing of the untrained dancers.
Fran, the ordinary girl who is a student learning dance, is shown as someone who progresses through the movie to go on to become a fine dancer. To add more credibility to this transformation, the camera shows a variety of positions. Initially, it captures overhead, slow shots. Later, as Fran goes on improvising in her dancing, the camera too adopts movements, nimbleness and energy. In the end, when she becomes an accomplished dancer, the camera captures the movements with great speed and vitality.
Thus, the camera positioning in the movie, 'Strictly Ballroom' helps in creating a greater impact of the dancing portrayals and it stands testimony to the fact that the camera can influence the audience by carrying them through upheavals of energy and emotions!

References
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