The Time of Our Lives (Paperback)
Dirty Dancing and Popular Culture (Contemporary Approaches to Film and Media)
Wayne State University Press, 9780814336243, 352pp.
Publication Date: March 1, 2013
A low-budget independent film made by a now defunct video company in the late 1980s, Dirty Dancing became a sleeper hit with a huge, primarily young audience. Even twenty-five years on, the film has found millions of devoted fans around the world through TV, video, and DVD releases. In The Time of Our Lives: Dirty Dancing and Popular Culture editors Yannis Tzioumakis and Si n Lincoln bring together leading scholars of film, media, music, culture, theater, dance, and sociology to examine for the first time the global cultural phenomenon of Dirty Dancing.
Tzioumakis and Lincoln begin by assessing Dirty Dancing's cultural impact in the decades since its release and introduce contributors in four sections. Essays in "Dirty Dancing in Context" look at the film from several perspectives, including its production and distribution history, its blending of genres, its treatment of race, and its place in the political and visual culture of the 1980s. In "Questions of Reception," contributors examine the many ways that the film has been received since its release, while those in "The Production of Nostalgia" focus on the film's often critiqued production of an idealized past. Finally, contributors in "Beyond the Film" examine the celebrated synergies that the film achieved in the "high concept" film environment of the 1980s, and the final two essays deal with the successful adaptation of the film for the stage.
With the enormous cultural impact it has made over the years, Dirty Dancing offers many opportunities for thought-provoking analysis. Fans of the movie and students and scholars of cultural, performance, and film history will appreciate the insight in The Time of Our Lives.