here. But this particular telling is about a young ballerina named Victoria, or Vicky for short. She has a career, but longs for a big career. The drive for such a career comes from her passion. A wonderful quote in the movie is when her and Boris meet for the first time at a party. Boris asks her why she wants to dance, and she asks back, "Why do you want to live?" He responds, surprised, "I don't know exactly why, but I must." She finishes by stating, "That's my answer, too." Her passion for her art clearly drives her to be better and better. Not once is thought that she wants this for the money--she is already from a wealthy family. She doesn't seem to be seeking fame because we are never given hints if that may be the case. She just strives to improve her art, which she loves with all her heart.
I was going to write a full summary of the entire story, but after a huge computer crash, I lost everything I already written. I will probably post a complete summary as a separate blog post. So here are some pictures as well as details on the ballet portion and other bits of the movie.
The sets are amazingly beautiful.
There is also a strong use of lights and colors to take advantage of the technology they had. This adds much depth to the film. Besides, who would want to see dark grey shoes when the story was supposed to be about red ones?
Color is also used as symbolism, and not necessarily in the traditional sense (white is innocent, black is evil, etc.) but to show a separation.
|Vicky is lit by the blue stage lights and Julian is lit from the pit lights below.|
The movie is also wise in creating an enchanting ballet called, you guessed it, The Red Shoes. The director knew that the viewers want to see the fruits of the characters' labor, and they oblige by creating a wonderful ballet. The cinematography during the ballet is perfect as to not distract from the dancing, but to add depth to the performance. Now we move into the ballet itself. There is an HD version on Youtube. You can view it here.
The ballet starts with the cobbler making the shoes. I swear, if there's a remake (heaven forbid, but if), I can see Johnny Depp playing as the cobbler. I mean, just look at his makeup:
Vicky emerges from her home, and goes to the cobbler:
The entire ballet and story of the red shoes is a metaphor for a performer's passion for her art and how this passion struggles with other desires such as intimacy. The dancer must pick, but either way, her passion will drive her to keep performing and may even cause her to toss other people away from her, just as the red shoes did.
The music for the ballet is splendid and it even won an Oscar. The ballet can also be taken at face value or delved into through its symbolism. Heck, the entire movie is a wonderful piece to watch. If you can't find a copy at the store or at your library, here is a place on Youtube where you can watch it: The Red Shoes. Personally, I would recommend trying to find an actual copy since the quality of the movie can make a big difference to how you perceive certain things.