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Article

Twist

Posted on

Twist

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG
performer:
Chubby Checker, Hank Ballard
genre:
Documentary

We gave it an A-

A first-rate and admirably peppy documentary that traces the unbuttoning of America through one singular dance sensation, the Twist. Director Ron Mann digs up campy archival footage to show how the twist served as a crucial link between Elvis and the Beatles, progressing from black R&B fad to white teenage smash to New York jet-set craze to full-blown pop-culture phenom. Along the way, he honors R&B legend Ballard (who wrote the song), reveals Checker (who popularized it) as a lucky clown, ticks off the twist’s progenitors (the itch, bop, and cha- lypso) and descendants (the frug, pony, fly, millie, jerk, swim, and watusi), and even lets late media pundit Marshall McLuhan weigh in. Kicky. A-

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