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Billy Elliot – “Into the World” Module C Speech By Stipan Jezercic
Good morning/afternoon fellow class mates. Today I will be talking to you about growing up and the transition of the film ‘Billy Elliot’ and my related text, a song by Christina Aguilera. ‘Billy Elliot’ relates to the elective ‘Into the World’ as the film is about new possibilities opening up, determination, family support and individual growth. One related text that shows other kinds of transitions into new worlds is a song performed by Christina Aguilera called ‘soar’. With Christina Aguilera’s powerful vocals and emotionally charged lyrics that make you really think, ‘Soar’ is a wonderfully inspirational song full of meaning.
The film Billy Elliot is a social drama as it deals with a variety of social issues such as poverty. It is about a young boy who has grown up in a poor community and a world of rules and traditions. During Billy’s boxing lesson, he discovers that he has a passion in ballet dancing. Contrast is then used by the camera panning past many pairs of delicate ballet slippered feet before settling on Billy wearing his boxing boots. This shot reinforces the idea that Billy is different, and highlights his preparedness to take risks and to stand out. In order for Billy to pursue his journey in dancing, he has to go against his fathers rules and deal with all the rage and frustration he is facing in his current world. Billy realises that dancing will open up his world.
To show Billy’s determination to succeed, Daldry uses a variety of film techniques to emphasise his strength of character and the frustration he feels when people try to stop him making his transition. The use of doors is a reoccurring symbol representing new worlds or barriers between worlds and used throughout the film. Billy’s initial sight of the ballet class through the door, and the way he enters the class cautiously symbolises a new world opening up to Billy. Billy’s determination is one the key elements.
Rated R For Language
"Billy Elliot" is the flip side of "Girlfight ." While the recent American film is about a girl who wants to be a boxer and is opposed by her macho father but supported by her brother, the new British film is about a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer but is opposed by his macho father and brother. Both films feature supportive adults who encourage the dreams, both oppose rigid gender definitions, both end in a big fight/dance. "Girlfight" is tougher, "Billy Elliot" sweeter. I suppose that's appropriate.
The movie takes place in a British coal mining town, where Billy (Jamie Bell ) trudges off to boxing lessons for which he is ill-equipped. Life at home is tense because his father (Gary Lewis ) and brother Tony (Jamie Draven ) are striking miners. One day, at the other end of the village hall, he sees ballet lessons being taught by a chain-smoking disciplinarian (Julie Walters ), and his eyes grow large. Soon he is shyly joining her class, the only boy in a crowd of tutus.
Billy's father equates male ballet dancers with homosexuality, but Billy doesn't seem to be gay, a fact he discovers to his sudden embarrassment during a pillow fight with his friend Debbie (Nicola Blackwell). Billy's best friend Michael (Stuart Wells) is gay, however--a cross-dresser who reaches the high point of his young life by putting on one of the tutus. Michael is attracted to Billy, who doesn't reciprocate, but seems unusually sophisticated about the implications for a boy his age.
The movie is sort of awkwardly cobbled together, and there are big shifts in character without much explanation. Billy's dad, a supporter of the strike, not only begins to understand his son's dream, but actually becomes a strikebreaker to get money for Billy to attend an important audition. I can believe a coal miner supporting his son's dancing dreams, but anyone who believes he would become a scab to raise the money doesn't know much about union miners.
Still, the movie is as much parable and fantasy as it is realistic. The character of the transvestite Michael in particular seems based more on wishful thinking than on plausible reality; would a gay boy of his age in this neighborhood of this town in 1984 be quite so sure of himself? Julie Walters, a 1984 Academy Award nominee for "Educating Rita ," is spirited and colorful as the ballet teacher, and Gary Lewis is somehow convincing as the dad even when the screenplay requires him to make big offscreen swings of position. Jamie Bell is an engaging Billy, earnest and high-spirited, and a pretty good dancer, too.
The movie was directed by Stephen Daldry. a well-known stage director, and photographed by Brian Tufano. who has one shot that perfectly illustrates the difference between how children and adults see the world. Billy's friend Debbie is walking along a fence, clicking a stick against the boards. She doesn't notice that she is suddenly walking in front of a line of cops, called up against the striking miners and carrying plastic shields; she clicks on those, too.
Note. Once again, we are confronted by a movie that might be ideal for teenagers near Billy Elliot's age, but has been slapped with the R rating. While kids will gladly sneak into R-rated movies they hope will be violent or scary, the R barrier only discourages them from films that could be helpful or educational. In the case of "Billy Elliot," the movie contains only mild violence and essentially no sex, and the R is explained entirely by the language, particularly the "F-word." The filmmakers believe that is a word much used by British coal miners, and I am sure they are correct.
There are two solutions to the linkage of the F-word and the R rating: 1). The MPAA should concede the melancholy fact that every teenager has heard this and most other nasty words thousands of times, or 2). Filmmakers should sacrifice the F-word in order to make their films more available to those under 17.
This is a new one for me – a novelisation of a film. Publishers The Chicken House got in touch with me at the beginning of December and asked me if I wanted to do it. I went to see the film and like a lot of other people, thought it was a cracker.
The time scale was very rushed – the Chicken’s wanted the book out to coincide with the release of the video in April. I had my daughter coming to visit me over Christmas, so I decided that I had to get the first draft done by then – which gave me just four weeks. That was the aim, anyhow, but I had no idea if I could do it. In the event, I did it three weeks – an amazingly fast piece of writing, and something I normally would never try to do. But in this case, such a lot of the job had been done for me – the characters, the story, the setting, even the sequencing of scenes – it was all there. I had the screenplay in front of me – all I had to do was translate the story into prose. But … what was the point? If that was all there was to it, I might as well be writing a treatment for Lee’s film. What can a novel add to this story that a film could not?
I decided early on to use the multiple first person narrative that I used in Junk and Bloodtide. and the answer to the purpose of doing the book soon came. A novel can take up the inner lives of the characters – show you their thoughts and feelings, explain and make clear their motives. A film shows you what people do; everything is inferred from words and action. But a novel can open them up from the inside out. It can also provide a more detailed history. For example – what happened to Billy’s mother? When did she die, how long has she been gone? How did Billy remember her?
The work went well – it’s a tribute to how well-thought out the screenplay was. There were no holes to fall through, not loose ends to tie up, no failings in the characters that I came up against. Only one thing puzzled me – I didn’t;t see that Jackie Elliot, a solid union man, should be prepared to break this important strike, which had cost so much suffering and pain, for the sake of Billy’s ballet ambitions. I tried leaving it out, but the strike breaking seemed such an important part of the film it seemed unfair to filmgoers. After all, it wasn’t my story.
I managed to get hold of Lee Hall’s e-mail in Hollywood to talk about the problem. He wrote very passionately and informatively about the story, and described certain scenes that had ended up on the cuttingroom floor – notably how dad first of all tried to pawn his wife’s jewelry before he broke the strike not after, and how Gary, the strikebreaker, helped out in the end. I saw how Jackie was truly at the end of his tether and having some sort of a breakdown – that made it understandable to me.
Billy Elliot is so interesting because it is about men and boys, about being male in a very traditional male, work dominating society at a time when the world was changing. We see Jackie, the traditional male head of the household, coming to terms with having to care for his children with no wife to help him; wesee brother Tony fighting for his future; we see Michael coming to terms with his sexuality and Billy, pursuing a dream totally at odds with the traditions he grew up with. It was to preserve this exploration of male roles that I left out the voice of Billy’s dance teacher, Mrs Wilkinson, and it that which I think makes it worth turning into a book.About Melvin
". I hold my head up high and I'm proud of who you are, so bring the crown on home. I know it's not an MVP of football or baseball; hell I'd be glad to set this one up on the mantle. Bring it on home, and I love you."
A stock plot that crops up in film to relatively high degree. It's all about "being true to who you are ".
A teenage boy has or discovers a passion for a "girly" hobby (e.g. ballet, cooking, singing, double-Dutch ), however his father is pushing him to follow a different "manly" one (e.g. baseball, basketball, banking, boxing. ). The boy is torn between his love of his father along with his masculine appearance to his friends and his love of his newfound secret hobby. In the end his dad finds out and eventually comes around to the idea (or it's revealed he doesn't have a problem with it ) and the boy either gives up the "manly" hobby for the "girly" one or he manages to pursue both and enjoys it.
As a subtrope of Coming-of-Age Story. generally stars teenagers since that's generally when people start to find their way as individuals. It's also common for these boys to be motherless. But if their mom is around, she's likely to be supportive of it (at least more so than her husband), which could lead to tension between the boy's parents.
Is similar to the Coming-Out Story. except the boy doesn't have to be gay—his secret hobby is a great way to meet girls, after all. But if he is, it could add another layer to the dilemma since this tends to be what the father fears all along. It's also a rough Spear Counterpart to You Go, Girl!. though the latter generally lacks the friction with parents, hence why Gender Flips (ie, a girl taking up a "manly" hobby to her mother's objections) are allowed here.
Openly embracing their passion may result in I Am What I Am.
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Fred Waitzkin: "I want you to understand something. He's better at this than I've ever been at anything in my life. He's better at this than you'll ever be at anything. My son has a gift. He has a gift, and when you acknowledge that, then maybe we will have something to talk about."
Ken: One day you'll realize there's more to life than culture. There's dirt, and smoke, and good honest sweat!
Father: Get out, you LABOURER!
Sniper:. The difference being one's a job. the other is mental sickness!