CHARACTERS Deconstructing Dirty Dancing 109

Deconstructing Dirty Dancing

SUMMARY Deconstructing Dirty Dancing

For decades and argues that Dirty Dancing the 1987 sleeper hit about a young middle class girl who falls for a handsome working class dance instructor is actually about everything The film is a union of history politics sixties and eighties culture era de. Loved this Naish's interpretation of the last scene is devastating

READ & DOWNLOAD ✓ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Û Stephen Lee Naish

Fining music class gender and race and of course features one of the best love stories set to film Using scene by scene analyses personal interpretation and comparative study it's time to take Dirty Dancing out of the corner and place it under the microsco. In the blurb for Deconstructing Dirty Dancing the author Stephen Naish describes it “as a film that has haunted him for decades” and it’s a feeling that I can than identify with Whole sections of dialogue can be recalled verbatim just from a chance phrase encountered in day to day life I find myself humming the Kellerman Anthem while washing up Hearing a song from the soundtrack instantly triggers an overwhelming wave of nostalgia for the late eighties when I first encountered the film which I went on to watch with my sister over a hundred times I’m probably uite a tough audience for a book on Dirty Dancing Naish’s basic premise is of Dirty Dancing as a story about the loss of personal innocence that reflects the societal loss of innocence in 1960s America It may not be a staggeringly original one but it’s a valid argument which he reiterates through a scene by scene interpretation of the film He highlights some interesting parallels with Lynch’s Blue Velvet another film which exemplifies the innocence lost in the transition from childhood to adulthood the corruption of the American Dream and which stylistically draws on the distinctive early 60s and late 80s periods Naish mentions a longer piece he has previously written on the topic and it’s a shame this couldn’t be included as not only is it an interesting comparison but it may have helped to substantiate the book a little Those familiar with the output of Zero Books will know that may of their publications are on the slighter side and this is even by their benchmark a very slim volume particularly if you subtract the personal reflection at the end which added little value for me I felt Naish missed a trick by not fleshing out the personal reflection with a in depth academic examination of the reception and legacy of the film It is however a very readable book not just because of its brevity It’s one of the less theory driven Zero Book publications I’ve come across largely pitched around Michele Schreiber’s theories of postfeminist cinema women and romance and subseuently doesn’t risk alienating a non academic audience It would be disingenuous however to suggest that as a short simple book Deconstructing Dirty Dancing doesn’t raise some really interesting insights into the film I was particularly struck by the suggestion that Penny’s interception of Dr Houseman during the merengue class he and Baby attend symbolises the role she will play in coming between the two characters Similarly the idea that Plight of the Peasants the book Baby is reading at the start of the film foretells her own critical reevaluation of the role of class plays in her life I found fascinating I’d never even noticed the title of the book before perhaps I can blame the dodgy uality of VHS The biggest revelation for me however was Naish’s suggestion that the final scene is interpreted as fantasy It had never occurred to me how my own nostalgia for the film had blinkered my interpretation of it which has always been as a straight narrative Naish persuasively argues that Johnny driving away is the ‘real’ ending of the film pointing out the signposts that indicate we are leaving reality and entering cinematic fantasy courtesy of Baby’s imagination A suitably Lynchian interpretation and one which has for me ignited a desire to re watch Dirty Dancing in a completely new way which considering my history with the film is high praise indeedI received a digital copy of this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley

Stephen Lee Naish Û 9 CHARACTERS

Renowned film critic Roger Ebert said Dirty Dancing might have been a decent movie if it had allowed itself to be about anything In this broadly researched and accessible text Stephen Lee Naish sets out to deconstruct and unlock a film that has haunted him. I received this ARC from NetGalley as a Read Now selection I'm not uite sure what I was exactly expecting It is a short book of less than 100 pages It was a decent book and relatively fast read It is a commentary of the entire Dirty Dancing movie Parts of it were interesting and other parts not so much I don't think I've seen the movie in at least 20 25 years I loved the music and really liked Patrick Swayze as most girls in the 80s did I would like to eventually see the movie again and see if I notice this time around much of the social commentary that could have been taken from the movie Les Statuts gouvernementaux ou règles de droit public et administratif pages It was a decent book and relatively fast read It is a commentary of the entire Dirty Dancing movie Parts of it were interesting and other Droit et environnement social au Maghreb parts not so much I don't think I've seen the movie in at least 20 25 years I loved the music and really liked Patrick Swayze as most girls in the 80s did I would like to eventually see the movie again and see if I notice this time around much of the social commentary that could have been taken from the movie


10 thoughts on “Deconstructing Dirty Dancing

  1. says:

    I received this ARC from NetGalley as a Read Now selection I'm not uite sure what I was exactly expecting It is a short book of less than 100 pages It was a decent book and relatively fast read It is a commentary of the entire Dirty Dancing movie Parts of it were interesting and other parts not so much I don't think I've seen the movie in at least 20 25 years I loved the music and really liked Patrick Swayze as most girls in the 80s did I would like to eventually see the movie again and see if I notice this time around much of the social commentary that could have been taken from the movie


  2. says:

    Dirty Dancing is just a chick flick right? Stephen Lee Naish argues that the movie is than that In his book he explores the topics of gender class and transitioning from child to adult that can be found in the movie He even compares Dirty Dancing with a movie by David Lynch That may sound a little crazy and I was wondering how he was going to do this But his argumentation is comprehensible and a lot less far fetched than I feared it might be He takes the reader through the movie scene by scene explaining uickly what happens in that scene before analysing it That made it easy to follow even though I watched the movie only once some time ago In the end there's a short essay on his personal experience watching Dirty Dancing several times in his life I really appreciated a male's perspective on what is considered to be a movie that only women like And I also enjoyed learning about the underlying topics in the movie and seeing that it's complex than it seems to be at first sight Another thing that I thought was interesting was that he showed how the lyrics of the soundtrack correspond to the story because I hadn't paid attention to that Now I'm looking forward to watching the movie again and finding some new details that I hadn't noticed before I would recommend this book to anyone that likes or even loves the movie It might also be helpful for students that want to write a paper on Dirty Dancing or movie analysis in general Disclaimer I received a free copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


  3. says:

    My love for Dirty Dancing knows no bounds It is my favourite film of all time and I will watch it whenever it is on televisionalbeit I will watch the DVD so as not to get cross that they have edited bits out and to alleviate the adverts but I still watch it every time it is on television I wouldn’t be surprised if I had watched Dirty Dancing over 1000 timesIt is due to this that I am always dubious when someone writes about it I worry that they are going to try and be disparaging about it My fiancé is always trying to take it down but after I made him watch it with audio commentary provided by myself he realised that nothing was going to shake my loveDeconstructing Dirty Dancing is a really clever look at Dirty Dancing from an academic point of view and Stephen Lee Naish is not trying to belittle the movie at all He studies it from a historical social and political point of view He takes you on a minute by minute journey and celebrates how much of a brave movie Dirty Dancing is and how it tackles some extreme issues of the time which are scarily still relevant todayThis is definitely one for film fans and Dirty Dancing buffs alikeDeconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Naish is available now


  4. says:

    I received this book free for an honest review I thought it was interesting but had no clear thesis It made some points I had never thought about the film before and really studied how the music ties into the storytelling


  5. says:

    Loved this Naish's interpretation of the last scene is devastating


  6. says:

    This review was originally posted on my blog accidentally ended up with this book from NetGalley and I was in two minds about whether to read it or to just contact the publisher and explain my error In the end I decided to read it I think everyone my age will have watched and loved Dirty Dancing when they were around their early teens I know so many people who still consider this one of their favourite films It was my favourite feel good film for many yearsThis is a wonderful book for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the film as it really does look at all the key moments and allows you to re live them I liked the descriptions of some of the deleted scenes from the film and the discussion on how they may or may not have added to the storyline had they have been left in – it’s made me want to buy the special edition DVD so I can see those deleted scenes now Occasionally there are really interesting references to other studies that have discussed Dirty Dancing and I would have loved of that but it has led me to look at the bibliography at the back of this book so that I can maybe read on the subject another timeI’ve always seen the depth in Dirty Dancing and assume that most people have – the way the main plot line hinges on Penny’s botched abortion and the way the politics and class and race issues of the time the film was set really did have a huge impact on the story being told This book considers the themes of the film and how out there it was for the time it was set and the time it was made I only wish that there had been of a discussion about about why no one makes films like Dirty Dancing any and that’s not me being nostalgic it’s a genuine thing that interests me as to why we don’t have romantic films that look at serious issues in the way that Dirty Dancing did any Now romantic films always seem to be very light and fluffy and while I enjoy them from time to time none of them are all that memorable whereas Dirty Dancing always feels forward thinking in the way it tackled big issuesThere is an interesting chapter earlier in the book that compares the themes of Dirty Dancing to those in Blue Velvet and I found that uite fascinating as on the surface I don’t automatically think of these films being in any way similar I now see the common themes that Naish discussed in the book and it has made me ponder them and to want to re watch both films to see what else I may have missed in my previous viewings of themNaish also discusses how certain uotes from Dirty Dancing have become part of popular culture now The way we all uote ‘I carried a watermelon’ for example as shorthand for the most mortifying things we’ve ever said or doneI found the author’s analysis of the end of Dirty Dancing utterly fascinating I’ve watched the film numerous times and I’ve always thought that the ending was just super romantic and a perfect end to the film Naish considers the idea that the whole ending was just a fantasy that Baby was having it was what she imagined happened and that really the love story between her and Johnny was over when he left Kellermans earlier in the the film I actually see that this is entirely plausible and it has made me really think about whether this is likely than how I’ve always viewed itAll in all this is an interesting nostalgic look back on a great film and if you’re a Dirty Dancing fan I think you’ll very much enjoy this book – I definitely recommend itDeconstructing Dirty Dancing is due to be published on 28 April


  7. says:

    Thankful for early access to this little gem through NetGalley As someone who can't count how many times I've watched this movie it's nice to have it legitimized with some well thought out explanations of the cultural and political representations portrayed in the film as well as the enduring impact it has had on so many Naish walks through the movie in seuence by film timing and I found myself reciting the lines in my head before he could even get to them While I didn't gain any mind blowing insights from his meditation on Dirty Dancing I delighted in reliving the movie yet again from a different perspective and felt a justifiable camaraderie with him and my other probably secret Dirty Dancing loving peeps


  8. says:

    I first watched this movie as a preteen when my older sisters rented it I have realized that there was uite a bit in the story that went over my head It was interesting to explore the class divisions that were represented in the film I may watch the film again soon to see if I agree with the author's ideas behind the symbolism I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


  9. says:

    In the blurb for Deconstructing Dirty Dancing the author Stephen Naish describes it “as a film that has haunted him for decades” and it’s a feeling that I can than identify with Whole sections of dialogue can be recalled verbatim just from a chance phrase encountered in day to day life I find myself humming the Kellerman Anthem while washing up Hearing a song from the soundtrack instantly triggers an overwhelming wave of nostalgia for the late eighties when I first encountered the film which I went on to watch with my sister over a hundred times I’m probably uite a tough audience for a book on Dirty Dancing Naish’s basic premise is of Dirty Dancing as a story about the loss of personal innocence that reflects the societal loss of innocence in 1960s America It may not be a staggeringly original one but it’s a valid argument which he reiterates through a scene by scene interpretation of the film He highlights some interesting parallels with Lynch’s Blue Velvet another film which exemplifies the innocence lost in the transition from childhood to adulthood the corruption of the American Dream and which stylistically draws on the distinctive early 60s and late 80s periods Naish mentions a longer piece he has previously written on the topic and it’s a shame this couldn’t be included as not only is it an interesting comparison but it may have helped to substantiate the book a little Those familiar with the output of Zero Books will know that may of their publications are on the slighter side and this is even by their benchmark a very slim volume particularly if you subtract the personal reflection at the end which added little value for me I felt Naish missed a trick by not fleshing out the personal reflection with a in depth academic examination of the reception and legacy of the film It is however a very readable book not just because of its brevity It’s one of the less theory driven Zero Book publications I’ve come across largely pitched around Michele Schreiber’s theories of postfeminist cinema women and romance and subseuently doesn’t risk alienating a non academic audience It would be disingenuous however to suggest that as a short simple book Deconstructing Dirty Dancing doesn’t raise some really interesting insights into the film I was particularly struck by the suggestion that Penny’s interception of Dr Houseman during the merengue class he and Baby attend symbolises the role she will play in coming between the two characters Similarly the idea that Plight of the Peasants the book Baby is reading at the start of the film foretells her own critical reevaluation of the role of class plays in her life I found fascinating I’d never even noticed the title of the book before perhaps I can blame the dodgy uality of VHS The biggest revelation for me however was Naish’s suggestion that the final scene is interpreted as fantasy It had never occurred to me how my own nostalgia for the film had blinkered my interpretation of it which has always been as a straight narrative Naish persuasively argues that Johnny driving away is the ‘real’ ending of the film pointing out the signposts that indicate we are leaving reality and entering cinematic fantasy courtesy of Baby’s imagination A suitably Lynchian interpretation and one which has for me ignited a desire to re watch Dirty Dancing in a completely new way which considering my history with the film is high praise indeedI received a digital copy of this book for review from the publisher via Netgalley


  10. says:

    Deconstructing Dirty Dancing by Stephen Lee Nash is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid AprilMany many philosophical interpretations in addition to the plain Jane synopsisbehind the scenes info that other movie related books usually offer Lee Nash does a full scene by scene watch thru of the movie and intersperses his writing with input from the screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein and other cinema writers; particularly Michele Schreiber and her book American Post Feminist Cinema which I should really try and track down to read too I really enjoyed the reference to Dirty Dancing as being 'Star Wars for girls' commonalities between it and that of the movie 'Blue Velvet' Schreiber's interpretation of the plot as being First MeetingCourtshipConsummationProblemResolutionEnd with the Transformation being love as a transformative agent for someone to become a better version of themselves the character Robbie being a Randian Egoist and a literal Fountain of water being poured on his Head Patrick Swayze's belief in Johnny Penny's relationship being the one that lasts after the events of the movie occur and deleted scenes that would've changed an audience opinion against Johnny or the owner's nephew Neil


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