Monday, 7 September 2009

Esquire (October 2009) now on stands. Gotta Dance.

Mark Ronson is this month's cover star. (There's a guy having a happy life. Though his sister seems to have a complicated life.) My column is about Andrea Arnold's film Fish Tank, a picture that set me thinking fondly about the hip-hop streetdance styles of the early 1980s, as a consequence of the stupendous amateur breakdancing of the film's protagonist, Mia, played by newcomer Katy Jarvis.
"Track-suited and hooded, stomping round her turf with Arnold’s camera often hard at her shoulder, Mia has the kind of feral, ill-employed energy one often finds in adolescent protagonists of realist cinema... Not content with exclusion from school, Mia courts estrangement from her friends, their quarrel embodied by warring styles of dance. For while Mia’s (ex-) mates are all into that urban/R&B manner of sullen, would-be-sultry pelvic grinding, Mia is a devotee of 80s-era hip-hop and breakdance. Yet she keeps this passion to herself, practising her moves alone in a vacant flat with a dodgy lock. She can’t quite accomplish the spinning-on-your-head bit, possibly because throughout each rehearsal she takes her refreshment from a plastic bottle of cider. But her dancing is clearly an expression of appetite and frustration, beautifully conveyed by Jarvis and Arnold."