First Position

0
0

Facts and Figures

Genre: Documentaries

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th August 2012

Box Office USA: $0.9M

Distributed by: Sundance Selects

Production compaines: First Position Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Fresh: 65 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bess Kargman

Producer: Bess Kargman

Starring: Aran Bell as Himself, Rebecca Houseknecht as Herself, Joan Sebastian Zamora as Himself, Miko Fogarty as Herself, Jules Jarvis Fogarty as Himself, Michaela DePrince as Herself, Gaya Bommer Yemini as Herself

First Position Movie Review


Like the engaging hit documentary Spellbound, this dance competition film gets under the skin and holds us in its grip like a well-crafted thriller. As young dancers face incredible odds in a competition that will decide their future, we feel like nervous parents watching from the wings, cheering them on and agonising over every wobble. Yes, it's impossible to watch these kids' stories without being deeply moved.

Every year, more than 5,000 teens and pre-teens enter the Youth America Grand Prix, which brutally whittles competitors down to only 40 who will get jobs or scholarships with a dance company. Filmmaker Kargman follows six young dancers with distinctly different stories. Jules (10) and his sister Miko (11) are both gifted but have very different feelings about the rigours of competition. Aran (11) is in a military family that moves all over the world, which makes it tricky to keep his studies consistent. Joan (16) is a prodigy from Colombia whose mother has given up everything to help him pursue his dream of dancing in the Royal Ballet. Michaela (16) was orphaned in Sierra Leone's civil war, then adopted by American parents and now faces racial issues in the ballet world. And Rebecca (17) is under massive pressure from her parents.

To get this far, these kids are already the best in the world, naturally gifted athletes and artists who have more than pure talent: they have the drive to succeed at the top of their profession. So as the film follows them through their shockingly tough preparations, we can't help but fall in love with each one. We also meet their teachers, friends and parents, all of whom devote themselves to helping them succeed (Miko and Jules' dad comments that his children work longer and harder than he does). And all of them have big issues in their pasts that would stop anyone who was less ambitious from going any further.

Kargman assembles this into a driving narrative that builds emotional momentum on the way to the big final competition, which is simply breathtaking. The film is sometimes a bit nice and cute, avoiding these young people's darker or quirkier sides, but it's skilfully shot and edited to keep us tightly gripped. And the climactic scenes are thrilling as we see these gifted dancers overcome injuries and mistakes to blossom under enormous pressure.

Rich Cline


Contactmusic

0
0

Comments

First Position Rating

" Excellent "

Advertisement

More First-position

Laura Marling - Short Movie Video

Laura Marling has now launched the title track for her forthcoming new album 'Short Movie' alongside a colourful animated equine video. The record co-produced by...

Pond - Sitting Up On Our Crane Video

Tame Impala side-project Pond unveil a psychedelic graphics laden video for their new track 'Sitting Up On Our Crane', taken from their forthcoming new album...

Wolf Alice - Giant Peach (Live) Video

Recently nominated for BBC's Sound of 2015, Wolf Alice perform an intimate rendition of their new track 'Giant Peach'. The band are currently working on...

Owl City - Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time (Audio) Video

Getting into the festive spirit is Owl City, whose fun new single 'Kiss Me Babe, It's Christmas Time' has now been made available ahead of...

Advertisement

Wolf Alice - Interview Video

One half of London quartet Wolf Alice discuss their recent tour, their excitement for 2015 and a possible album release. They also unveil their favourite...

The Loft Trailer

Five married friends decide to buy a loft together, and each owned a key, but no one else did. The men use the loft as...

Far From The Madding Crowd Trailer

Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life of a young farmer, he falls utterly in love with...

Paul McCartney - The Daily Show Clips Video

Paul McCartney recently unveiled a new single, entitled 'Hope', to go alongside the release of brand new video shooter game 'Destiny'. However, while promoting the...

Advertisement