Strictly Ballroom

“You cannot belong to anyone else, until you belong to yourself.”

You cannot belong to anyone else until you overcome fear and conformity in order to find the courage and strength to belong to yourself, is a notion that is reflected via the characters in the film Strictly Ballroom, directed by Baz Luhrmann as well as in the piece The Scream, painted by Edvard Munch. The sense of belonging in each text is explored within a personal, social and cultural context. Themes about discovering and accepting one's self and others as well as the search for one's true identity are also explored in the two texts. Further ideas and examples of belonging can also emerge from connections made between people, places, groups and the larger world. The texts explore many aspects of belonging, including choices not to belong or barriers which forestall belonging. These perceptions and notions of belonging or of not belonging are shown via language modes, visual techniques and a variety of film techniques.

Scott Hastings, the main character of Strictly Ballroom is a prime example that before you can belong to anyone else you must first belong to yourself. One of the very first scenes in the movie   displays an eye-level long shot of a Scott's silhouette jumping and twirling in contrast to the strict steps of ballroom dancing. This personal and private moment shows a glimpse of Scott's true identity and that Scott must dance in the shadows so no one will see him, thus making it evident to the viewer that Scott has not yet accepted himself or his non-conformist style of dance so therefore the rest of the dancing community won't either. Moreover, as the movie progresses the paused image of a medium shot of the number 100 on Scott's shirt peeling away at the edge is a metaphor for the fact that Scott is beginning to break free from the strict world of dancing. This idea is further reinforced when the camera image slows down whilst panning and dramatic music begins playing as he pushes...