A kind of ‘spiritual sequel’ to my Burning/The Misfits pas de deux, this video essay is another side-by-side comparison of two Major Cinematic Moment dance scenes — this time, from Magic Mike XXL (2015) and Pretty in Pink (1986).
Where similarities were loudest in the first essay, the films referenced in Big Duck Richie have more notable differences, particularly in their gender politics (one stars a sweet man who cares about women and their feelings, and the other stars Duckie from Pretty in Pink).
However, the thing they do have in common is beautiful indeed: they are both scenes of men performing spontaneous and excellent dance routines in retail settings for the moody women who work there; scenes that offer little in the way of narrative development, and everything in the way of viewing pleasure. A rich tradition that I hope to see continue.
Ivana Brehas (a.k.a. Joaquin Shenix) is a writer and filmmaker living in Naarm (Melbourne). She has written for Dazed, Much Ado About Cinema, The Big Issue, 4:3 and more. She also makes lil videos. Contact her at www.ivanabrehas.com.