Belonging as a complex concept, which includes finding one’s place in the world. In both Strictly Ballroom and Little Miss Sunshine this concept is explored. Everyone belongs to a group In some way whether It Is Family such as In Little Miss Sunshine or In ‘Strictly Ballroom’ belonging to the world of dance. In both Films belonging and what It means to belong or break away and be an Individual are shown. In strictly Ballroom Scott and Fran and In Little Miss Sunshine the mall character of Olive that believe in order to find their place in the world they must find where they belong,
In the Film Strictly Ballroom, the character of Scott Hastings illustrates the way we are often forced to choose between belonging to a group and following our individual desires. Coot’s need to dance his own steps and express his creativity clashes with his desire to win and pressure to belong both internally and externally. The films incorporation of slow motion sequence in the opening scene when Scott first decides to dance his own steps exaggerates a sense of euphoria within the character as a result of his choice not to dance traditionally.
The scene Is edited in such a way to articulate the unconventionality of Coot’s dance steps and Intention to distance himself from the ‘dance world’, further Illustrating his success In finding a means of belonging and place In the world. In the film Little MISS Sunshine Olive again challenges the preconceived notions of the typical beauty pageant world through a personal expression of self in the ending scene, the film highlight this idea through distinct visual and musical contrast.
Olive’s costuming and performance are noticeably different to the other contestants in exchange for her being shown in a such more natural way without all the glitz and glamour very similar to the way Fran is shown, I have shown this difference in my visual aid here. They expose the unnaturalness of the other competitors because of this they are automatically labeled as outcasts, furthermore highlighting how her Individuality and newly achieved sense of belonging Is instilled.
From the outset of these two texts a sense of belonging Is established. Both Fran and Olive are portrayed in a way that articulates the importance of family in creating a sense of belonging in the world. We see this sense of belonging through the Milk bar Scene with Fran, Scott and her Family. This scene both highlights Coot’s inability to feel a sense of belonging through family, as well as showing how Franc’s family has welcomed him openly.
The camera work in the scene drawing close up to each individuals faces and then panning out to show the whole family embracing are effective in portraying how different Individuals are able to belong in a family environment. There is a contrast between being accepted by Franc’s family compared to Coot’s own family, this Is shown when Coot’s mother slaps him because Scott tells her “l don’t care about winning”. This Is unlike Franc’s family who want her to “dance from the heart. ” belong to a Family.
Olives family much like Franc’s are supportive of what she wants to do, that is perform in the Little Miss Sunshine Beauty pageant, the similarity to Franc’s family continues through the concept of individuality, with Franc’s family encouraging her to “dance from the heart”, This portion of dialogue is crucial in providing a clear summary of the films message. It is through the support of Olive’s family towards her individuality that establish her sense of belonging to the world around her and to herself. In both Films it is evident hat belonging is about finding one’s place in the world.
Through the Journey each character takes towards finding their place in the world we are shown the contrast between individuality and belonging and what leads them to finding their place in the world. In the film Strictly Ballroom Lurching explores finding belonging through love. Although Scott and Fran are from different worlds and have different senses of belonging they eventually fall in love and find belonging through that. Scott and Fran when dancing together are shown in a completely different way to the other couples with all the ‘glitz and glamour’.
In the state championships scene when Scott and Fran dance the Aroma behind the curtains contrast is evident, Lurching uses the technique of simple costuming and set to show how Fran and Scott “dance from the heart” opposed to the other couples, constant close ups of their faces are additionally used to show their emotion compared to the long shots of the emotionless dance of the ‘glitz and glamour’ couples. Scott and Franc’s naturalness expose the artificial nature of the other dancing. Through the way Scott and Fran dance “From the heart” we can see the naturalness of love between them as they find a sense of belonging from catheter.