Center Stage Controversy - I object!
Posted 06 July 2002 - 08:35 AM
In the trailer Billy is first seen wearing boxing gloves and headgear--the huge, pillow-like gloves that amateur boxers use in training. The narrative of the trailer makes clear that he is drawn away from the manly art of self-defense and toward the gentler pursuit of dance.
Which makes him odd, of course, and which I thought was the central conflict in the movie.
Wouldn't it be nice if the movement was the other way--that ballet training was considered the norm for young men and that a few of them, of inexplicable reasons, wanted to become boxers.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 01:46 PM
On the other hand, I have no problem with people beating up on Billy Elliot, which had pretensions to Seriousness, and did not present any real ballet dancing. Perfectly useless movie from a dance perspective.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 03:06 PM
Posted 21 June 2002 - 10:28 AM
Posted 21 June 2002 - 12:48 PM
It always reminded me of a recurring sketch on Monty Python's Flying Circus. Ladies and gentlemen, the World of History is proud to present the premiere of the Batley Townswomen's Guild's re-enactment of the battle of Pearl Harbor........
Posted 21 June 2002 - 02:08 PM
Posted 23 August 2002 - 04:05 PM
I'd forgotten that Altman was going to direct the new one. I haven't thought much of his recent efforts, but he at least is a genuine movie guy, so we'll see.
Old Fashioned, if your movie didn't succeed, the fault would lie not with you but with the Catch-22 that afflicts all biographical movies about great stars. It takes a great star to play one, but but part of what makes a great star is that person's outstanding and unique qualities, which are unlikely to be duplicated or even approximated. Even if you can find a person of equal star voltage, that person is likely to be so different that the concept doesn't work. And if you go with a lesser performer, you come up with Brolin and Clayburgh as....Gable and Lombard. (I'm not making that up.)
Posted 23 August 2002 - 04:24 PM
Posted 24 June 2002 - 04:59 AM
I prefered "Billy Elliot", not for the dance sequences of course (which were disappointing), but for the story (not just the main plot). The acting here is much better than in "Centre Stage". (Jamie Bell was great, I thought). The ballet scenes aren't realistic though: boys don't wear ribbons, girls don't usually wear tutus to class, and auditions are quite different now. If you watch it with a ballet critic's eye, then it's a failure. However, if you watch it for what it is- a regular movie that just happens to be about ballet, directed and produced by people that aren't experts in ballet- it can be entertaining.
As for the notion that the movies film critics like are usually "not as entertaining". I have to agree and disagree (this is a little off topic). If one's idea of entertainment is non-stop action and special effects, then yes. But critics have to study a lot of film theory (or so I should imagine) and their tastes are more cerebral than the average viewer. They look for good acting (not just good looks) and cinematic technique and probably some originality (what hollywood lacks). After watching blockbusters all the time, it takes a while to train one's eye to appreciate the subtlety of foreign/art/independent film. But I think it's well worth it. Some critics however, can get overly pretentious and give a film 5 stars just because it is abstract and from Europe. Sometimes I agree with critics, but sometimes the films they praise are verrry slow (i.e. Cannes' camera d'or winner "Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner"- I really wanted to like it, since it's Canadian, but boy was it slow! Or another Cannes winner "Rosetta"- cinema verite style takes getting used to).
Posted 24 June 2002 - 05:52 AM
Hmph. And people tease me because I like to count fouttes. At least I pick dancers who are more of a challenge!
I liked a lot of Billy Elliot. It certainly had its flaws, oversimplifications, and mawkish sentimentality. But I can certainly identify with a character who repeatedly falls over while practicing pirouettes!
Posted 23 August 2002 - 08:46 AM
His version with choreography by Sir Kenneth MacMillan was among the top broadway productions I've ever seen.
Posted 23 August 2002 - 04:14 PM
Hytners stage version besides being cinematic and amazing to watch, grabbed me with it's dark side of the characters.
Wish you had seen it Dirac. I did not go to see the recent broadway 'Oklahoma' because I didn't think it would live up to the experience I had with Hytners 'Carousel'.
Posted 21 June 2002 - 11:24 AM
Posted 03 September 2002 - 11:51 AM
Heck, I'd pay to see just actual footage.
Billy Elliott, the end of the movie was a sellout.
Center Stage was far too many cliches looped into one movie.
The Turning Point, I can't get past Shirley Maclaine in a movie about ballet, something about all those past lives....
Dancers. Now that was a waste of celluloid.
Looking forward to Altman's, but given the ballet film preceding it, I don't have much hope.
Posted 19 June 2002 - 07:55 AM
Exaggerated as this film may have been, it definitely gave the uneducated audience some sort of understanding of what it takes to get into a company.
At least I am not bombarded with questions like, "What does a dancer do when they graduate from college? Go on Broadway?"
At some level, this movie has alleviated stereotypes that were completely wrong and replaced them with some that aren't too far from believable!
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