Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Ballrooming

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Credit for this one goes to my blogging colleague, Iba over at I Luv Cinema, who pointed out in a post from last year that a couple of decades have passed on a particular romantic comedy. An Australian film with some surprising dramatic elements that remains quite light on its feet, even twenty years after it first debuted here:

“… directed by Australian Baz Luhrmann and starring Paul Mercurio and Tara Morice. This ballroom dancing romantic comedy/drama was the first in Luhrmann’s “theater” trilogy – the other two films being Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge.”


The Courtyard 10:

Images c/o Cinema Treasures site



January 9, 1993: Even if you love where you live, you still need to get away from it from time-to-time. I began to do exactly that fairly early. Right after I got my drivers license in high school, in actuality. First to Santa Barbara in the north with friends one weekend, a trip that continues to stick in my mind. Never what I’d consider a long car excursion, though. Two- to three-hour jaunts fit just right.

I know. I’m a mileage wimp. Still, spending more time there than on the road was the goal. And it kept me more than happy since S.B., San Diego (toward the south), and later Santa Catalina island in the west (just off the coast) were within that compass limit. Yet, it has been in the east where I’ve spent most three-day getaway weekends. Specifically, in the desert communities of the Coachella Valley.

Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, and of course, Palm Springs were the destination. Luckily, the woman I married enjoyed doing just that, too. Pre- and post-kids, it’s still our practice. On this trip, it was our first so early in the year, and in the midst of winter. The ‘on’ season for visitors and tourists. No wonder organizers traditionally set the Palm Springs Film Festival for this time.

We hadn’t planned for it, though. Just saw the fest listed in the local newspaper after we arrived and decided to take in a film at the nearby Courtyard 10. Notwithstanding, Strictly Ballroom was a hit in its native Australia the year before, but didn’t land in the U.S. till this very year. In point of fact, this one headlined that international film celebration. Turned out to be one the best things we ever did in the desert.

The entire series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

14 Responses to “TMT: Ballrooming”

  1. idawson

    Thanks for the shout out! Unfortunately I have only been able to see this on home viewing as it initially escaped my notice as a “yute”. Either that or my immaturity led me to believe this is a film I would not at all be interested in.


  2. Arlee Bird

    I recall the days when I would think nothing of a road trip to do something comparatively insignificant or that I could have done near by. Nowadays I have a hard time going somewhere too far away from Pico Rivera, where I live.

    I rented Strictly Ballroom on video, but it’s been several years ago. As I recall I quite enjoyed it.


    • le0pard13

      I understand that. I think I need to show my kids this one (and it’s Saturday today, so maybe for family movie night viewing). Thanks, Arlee.


  3. Vickie Lester

    I cackle straight through that movie – love it – and it’s still fresh. I won’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it. Have you seen the towering Marilyn in Palm Springs recently?


    • le0pard13

      No, I haven’t. Been in Rancho Mirage too much, maybe. I need to head back to P.S. Thanks for the comment and heads up, Vickie.


  4. ruth

    Nice pick for this year’s first TMT! This is actually the one Baz Luhrmann’s films I haven’t seen yet but I really should see this soon, especially since you like it, Michael.


  5. Paula

    What a cool memory. Maybe someday I’ll get to Palm Springs. I’ve always wanted to go the Coachella music festival. Love STRICTLY BALLROOM, though I must confess that I didn’t see it until after I saw MOULIN ROUGE.


  6. The Focused Filmographer

    I have never seen Strictly Ballroom but I am a big fan of Moulin Rouge! 🙂

    Nice to get away. Good to see I’m not the only one who thinks it’s still okay to go on vacation somewhere else and still go to a theater to see a movie (even if it is something I can do at home!) haha



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