Step Up (USA, 2006)
Directed by Anne Fletcher
Starring Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan, Damaine Radcliff, Mario
The surprise commercial success of Save the Last Dance ushered in a wave of films focussed around street dance and hip-hop. Where classic-era Hollywood dance films were dominated by ballroom, ballet and tap dancing, the 2000s gave us film after film in which impressive street or hip-hop choreography came face-to-face with decades-old romantic and dramatic conventions, with varying degrees of success.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it is possible to enjoy these films as artistic endeavours rather than narrative ones, but for the less freeform among us, even the best leave us with an unsatisying niggle.
The Red Shoes is about the boundary between fantasy and reality, and the tension between creativity and common sense. Black Swan is about the need to embrace one's dark side in striving for artistic perfection, even at the cost of one's sanity. Even Strictly Ballroom, Baz Luhrmann's raucous debut, is less about ballroom dancing than the fight against orthodoxy and how the fear of failure cripples people.
Angel Heart, but the colour palette is inviting and his use of wide angles is judicious.
High Society, Anne Fletcher comes from a background in choreography. There are occasions when we get the impression that the sets have been deliberately designed to be as big and spacious as possible, to allow more room for the dancing and more scope for the camera movements. But while Walters ultimately failed to tell his story in an interesting way, Fletcher has enough grasp of cinematic narrative to hold our attention.
Apologies for the long gap between reviews on here - I will strive to do better in future.
NEXT REVIEW: Step Up 2 The Streets (2008)