Hairspray Film Analysis

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Hairspray is a romantic comedy film that came out in 1988. It was directed by John Waters. The movie takes place in 1962 in Baltimore and is about a self proclaimed young women called Tracy Turnblad. The story depicts both the rise of the teenager on a local TV to become a celebrity as a dancer and through her unpopular desire for racial integration. The story takes place at a time when the entertainment industry was greatly used to highlight the racial tensions and intercultural conflicts between the White and African-American that was taking place in the 1960’s. At a time when the Civil Right Movement was very much alive, racial tensions are portrayed and shown through the dances and interaction of a teenage group dancing show. One scene…show more content…
The scene takes place in a shop in which Link, Tracy and her best friend Penny just walked in and witnessed African-American people dancing. The first evidence that highlights the racial segregation is the place where the dance takes place. The dance takes place in a closed, private room, hidden from the public, in a small record shop owned by Motormouth Maybelle. One example that suggest that the African-American dancers do not want to be seen dancing are the partly closed blinders. They are immediately welcomed by the black dancers. It relates to the new “friendly and peaceful” African-American image that Martin Luther King was trying to create. The three white dancers are invited to learn an African-American dance called the Bird Dance. The dance involves a vertical movement of the upper arm and the elbow, very similar to a bird movement. The dance involves a constant change in vertical height of the body which is going up and down. The dance is very free and energetic, while using a powerful movement and a big inclination of the shoulders. The tempo is also…show more content…
Hairspray was able to be impactful to the audiences of the 1960’s and the one’s later through the depiction of the progression in the fight towards equality. Despite the banal nature of Hairspray, it does offer a concrete powerful account of that time period with the absence of excessive violence and conflict, unlike West Side Story for

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