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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

cinematic roots of: ‘Step Up 3D’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Step Up 3D, street dancers in New York City meet other tough dancers in a battle to the death… or at least for the prize money to save their world from being foreclosed. This flick sprang from (among other films):

West Side Story (1961), in which street gangs take dance seriously and a battle to the death is an actual battle to the death.

Saturday Night Fever (1977), a classic story about dance as a distraction from the harsh realities of life, complete with the requisite make-or-break competition.

How She Move (2008), and underappreciated Canadian film about a girl from a Toronto ghetto who needs to win a step-dance contest to raise tuition money.

Rize (2005), a wonderful documentary about intense, ganglike street dancers in Los Angeles.
Where to buy:
How She Move [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Rize [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Saturday Night Fever [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
West Side Story [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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dvd buzz | movie buzz
  • KarenP

    The cinematic roots idea is a really cool concept. I’m already adding (albeit selectively) to my Netflix queue.

  • Muzz

    It also seems to be a direct attempt to cash in on the success of StreetDance 3D in the UK earlier this year.

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