It’s 25 years since Scott and Fran danced — and danced their own steps — into the hearts of Australians, in Baz Luhrmann’s enduring debut feature film, Strictly Ballroom.
To celebrate the film’s milestone, the National Film and Sound Archive has launched an online exhibition looking “behind the red curtain” at the film’s creation and success.
The exhibition features new interviews with original stars Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice, original posters, publicity materials, costume sketches, and oral histories with Mercurio and several of the creative talents behind the film.
Paul Mercurio said: “Strictly Ballroom hasn’t aged. It’s still relevant, and it moves people in exactly the same way it did 25 years ago. We all need to feel good; we want something that makes us feel like getting up and dancing. It’s been a long time but every couple of days someone mentions it to me. People are now showing it to their children for the first time!”
Tara Morice said: “Strictly Ballroom has been a huge part of my life; the role that defined my career. It’s a great honour that it’s still loved by the audience. People have told me that every time they get sad, they get out the DVD and watch it. Kids have studied it for the HSC. It’s become part of Australian film history, and that’s such a great feeling.”
The film was an instant hit when it premiered at Cannes in 1992, and went on to win eight of its 13 nominations at the AFI Awards. It grossed $80 million at the box office, from its $3 million budget, and spawned a commercially successful stage musical, which premiered in 2014.
Strictly Ballroom: Behind the Curtain can be viewed online here.