General Dance Discussion > Shall We Dance

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by Larinda McRaven, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    So a friend of mine in the Mid-west was invited to be in a test audience for the movie Shall We Dance. Now this person is not a dancer. But has seen me dance on numerous occasions and I force her to watch some of my tapes when I go home for the holidays, so she does know something about ballroom.

    She informed me that they were bored with the movie. JLo is just playing her same self, although Richard Gere is nice to look at. She just couldn't get into the movie, there was nothing of the story line to attract her to it other than her knowledge of my dancing. She said most people in the test audience were bored to tears. It was not movie that she would chose to see on her own.

    I am hoping, come October, that when we seen the movie in the theatres, it will have a better reception than what I am starting to fear.
  2. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Is that a remake of the Fred Astaire movie?
  3. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    I hope your friend's view is not fully accurate, yet it causes me concern. I was kind of hoping it would do positive things for the dancing community. Maybe bring more people out to learn and dance.

    Oh well, if it is a flop, there is always dancing to enjoy!
  4. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It's a remake of a WONDERFUL Japanese film of the same name. Too bad Hollywood couldn't leave well enough alone.
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    that has me it only WONDERFUL to us as dancers???
    Did normal peple get the original movie?
    I only know of dancers who saw the original so the perspective might be skewed. As this movie is aimed at general audiences it may not transcend because the target audience is all wrong...??
  6. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    I am certainly still curious about the remake anyway, and if it is being made for general audiences, then perhaps it can attract more folks into the ballroom dance world. But if it doesn't, I hope it at least doesn't lessen people's views of the dance community.
  7. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    I have heard this title mentioned before but only know of the Fred Astaire movie. Will have to keep an eye out in the video store. I assume it has subtitles being from Japan. How old is it?
  8. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    I'm starting to place right next go Google as an on-line research resource.

    The Japanese movie is dated from 1997 ( I'm pretty sure I stumbled upon it briefly several months ago on Independent Film Channel (IFC), which will also show some foreign films, including the original version of a Hollywood remake (I've seen "Solaris" and "Insomnia" there). As I recall, it was in black-and-white.

    From the editorial review of the VHS tape (the DVD has not yet been released):
  9. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, the Japanese one had all these great nuances that just won't translate across cultures. As far as Larinda's question about audience, I think the first one was well received by those who saw it -- dancers and non-dancers alike. Keep in mind, however, that as a subtitled movie it probably had a fairly self-selected audience who would be amenable to "the arts."

    I also recall hearing of an even early test viewing of the remake where people said there wasn’t enough JLo so, undoubtedly, more of her has been put in just “because” rather than because it actually moves the story along. I’m highly skeptical myself…but we’ll see.
  10. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    It seems being skeptical is certainly better then getting your hopes up regarding this movie.
  11. Laura

    Laura New Member

    My non-dancing non-chick-flick-liking 'do-we-have-to-watch-figure-skating???'-commenting husband enjoyed the Japanese "Shall We Dance?", so that's why I give it a WONDERFUL rating :)
  12. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    SWD remains one of my personal favorites. until 'life is beautiful' came out, SWD was the highest grossing foreign film in the US.

    i was able to get hold of a pirated version on laser disc from macao (so it had both english & chinese subtitles). there were a few scenes cut out of the miramax version to get it under 2 hours. one scene showed the wife & teenage daughter having a conversation in the car - the main point being the mother commenting that she had to go back to work since the daughter's birth to help pay the new mortgage, which supports the idea of the father feeling trapped in his job. another is mai throwing a fit in her father's office because her father won't let her take a new partner to compete. she takes a picture of her competing & throws it on the floor, shatering the glass. he elects to punish her disrespect by making her teach the group lesson that night.

    i don't see how they can make the plot work given the difference in culture. plus mai was so elegant (one of japan's top ballerinas in real life, she married the filmmaker right after SWD showed at the cannes film festival) which is something jlo will never be IMO. while i'd be curious to see how they cast the part of aoki-san (the donny barnes wanna-be), i doubt i'll pay money to see the remake. with any luck it'll go straight to dvd & be available to rent for $1.99 before Xmas.
  13. brujo

    brujo New Member

    I saw the original before I began to learn to dance. It is an awesome movie specially for the non-dancers. However, there are many quirks of the Japanese culture and its attitude towards dancing in particular that made the movie. Unfortunately, these won't translate at all to the English version. I predict this is going to be one of those Hollywood 'Bart Simpson dances Ballet' type movies.
  14. tsb

    tsb Well-Known Member

    i'd been dancing for only a couple of years & still blissfully unaware of how awful i was as a leader. but as i began to be aware of protecting my partner more & more women started asking me to dance, even though my lead remained quite weak. & i learned to take the issue of trust seriously.
  15. MacMoto

    MacMoto Active Member

    I was "a normal person" :)lol: :lol: I mean non-dancer, though I was always interested in dancing) when I watched the original movie, and I thought it was wonderful. Perhaps my knowledge of Japan and Japanese culture helped a bit, but I'm sure the majority of the audience were non-dancers with little knowledge of Japan, and they were all in stitches (even though some of the laughs were unintended -- like that romantic description of Blackpool, which conjures up a very different image to us Scots) and left the theatre with a big smile.

    I don't think the cultural background of the movie is untranslatable (from what I gather on DF, western men taking up ballroom dancing also face the same bias against them, right?), but Hollywood does have this compulsion to Hollywoodify foreign film remakes, making them soapier, and consequently less insightful, than the original.
  16. Laura

    Laura New Member

    It's not the same bias. In Japan, the issue was that people don't go in for public displays of affection, so partner dancing is looked at as being too close in public (all that touching of body parts). In the US, the bias against dancing men is that there are people who assume that any dancing man is automatically gay. So, I wonder what reason the new movie will give for the husband to keep his dancing hidden?
  17. DancePoet

    DancePoet Well-Known Member

    Laura: Your description of your husband had me laughing. :) And it will be interesting to see what cultural ideas about America creep into the remake.
  18. Danish Guy

    Danish Guy New Member

    I read in a local paper they movie screening was a disaster. The try to fix the movie by cuts and additions before it hit the theatres.
  19. kwa445

    kwa445 New Member

    While we're on the topic of dance movies, what do you think of the movie "Strictly Ballroom"? I always loved seeing the actresses' outrageous ballroom costumes and crazy hairdos, hehe. :lol: I know the movie is kinda making fun of dancing, but you have to admit, it's pretty funny.
  20. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I love Strictly Ballroom. There's so much in there that is like the real competition world, just amped up for comedic effect. Have you ever seen Latin costumes from the 80's? I've seen tapes of Ron Montez, Rick Valenzuela, and Tony Meredith in shiny lycra cat suits. "Strictly Ballroom" was made in the early 90's, and so wasn't too far off the mark costume wise.

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