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Steve Naish


Meet the man who has deconstructed Dirty Dancing, Dennis Hopper and much more

Stephen Lee Naish (he/him) is a writer and visual artist whose work explores film, politics, and popular culture. He often examines political undercurrents present in films and their potential for social commentary and critique. He explores a wide range of topics, including the impacts of COVID-19 on theaters, the class war of the 1% upon the rest, and the climate crisis. He has written essays for various journals and periodicals, including Candid Magazine, The Quietus, Albumism, Aquarium Drunkard, Film International, and Dirty Movies. Naish is also the author of several books including Create or Die: Essays on the Artistry of Dennis Hopper (AUP), Deconstructing Dirty Dancing (Zero Books), Riffs and Meaning (Headpress), Screen Captures: Film in the Age of Emergency (Newstar Books). His most recent book Music and Sound in the Films of Dennis Hopper is published by Routledge. He lives in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

He can be found at @riffsandmeaning. Most of his writing eventually appears here and he can be followed by clicking right here.

Other posts by Steve Naish
Mogwai: If the Stars Had a Sound
Rockumentary offers colourful insight this British brand of elegant and introspective post-rock music; strangely, the "stars" are conspicuous in their absence - from the 32nd edition of Raindance [Read More...]

The Dennis Hopper songs that will get you moving!
British born, Ontario-based writer Steve Naish reveals the dirty tunes that helped to define. lift and illuminate the movies of late American auteur Dennis Hopper [Read More...]

Dream Scenario
Under the fun and easygoing direction of Norwegian filmmaker and screenwriter Kristoffer Borgli, Nicolas Cage plays a role that mirrors his very own journey - in cinemas on Friday, December 8th [Read More...]

Me and the Beasts (Las Bestia y Yo)
Venezuelan drama investigates the crippling desire to create a world of destruction, and the power of music in a damaged world - from the 76th Locarno Film Festival [Read More...]

Speak No Evil
A Danish family have to contend with duplicitous Dutch visitors, in this effective horror flick about the consequences of docile mannerisms - now on Amazon Prime and Shudder [Read More...]

Razorlight: Fall to Pieces  
Documentary about post-Britpop act is a successful testament to the power of music and enduring friendship - from the 30th Raindance Film Festival [Read More...]

Lost Highway – 25th anniversary 4k restoration
A quarter of a century after its original release, David Lynch's real masterpiece receives a 4k restoration; the film continues to leave audiences disturbed, uneasy, confused, weirded out, immersed, amused, and even vulnerable [Read More...]

Perfunctory disaster movie about desperate people slipping into sleep-deprived insanity is a little soporific - now available on Netflix [Read More...]

Bo Burnham: Inside
The American comedian films himself during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the outcome is strangely profound, more David Lynch than Ricky Gervais - available now on Netflix [Read More...]

American disaster movie is valiant attempt to surf between the more existential films that play on the end of the world scenario - now on VoD [Read More...]

The Rental
Two couples on holiday suspect that there's something sinister with their rental house, in this welcome addition to the "secluded vacation spot" subgenre - American horror is available now on Amazon Prime [Read More...]

The narcissist, the bug and the resistance
Stephen Lee Naish analyses the 2018 post-apocalyptic drama in the light of coronavirus and an increasingly erratic Potus, and he hopes that we won't have the same fate as the movie characters [Read More...]

Just kill all hippies!!!
As Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue turns 40, Steven Naish investigates what is it that makes the dirty movie indelible and delectable [Read More...]

Reinventing the reel, four decades later
Stephen Lee Naish interviews John Alan Simon, the film director and producer behind the restoration of Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue, which celebrates its 40th anniversary of the movie this year [Read More...]

Post-Wars Star Wars: Abandon hope all ye who enter here
Steve Naish analyses the latest instalment of the Star Wars franchise, drawing parallels to our very real world; sadly the message isn't one of hope [Read More...]

The Rise of Skywalker and the final word in the accelerated saga
Steve Naish analyses the latest movie in the Star Wars franchise, arguing that the nature of cinema has accelerated to the point of almost exhaustive collapse [Read More...]

Film should brighten up our imminent dark future!
Our writer Steve Naish argues that we might soon succumb to destruction not dissimilar to what we saw in disaster movies, and cinema could become a powerful tool for betterment and reconstruction [Read More...]

Still riding fast half a century on!!!
As Dennis Hopper's classic Easy Rider turns 50, Steve Naish examines the film's influence on the work of other directors (such as Tarantino) and argues it still resonates now, in the light of Trump's racist rhetoric [Read More...]

Do cowboys have fantasies?
As a crisp 4k restoration of Dennis Hopper's "lost" masterpiece The Last Movie hits UK cinemas, Stephen Lee Naish reevaluates the film that nearly ruined the late American artist - out on Friday, December 14th [Read More...]

A new dirty masterpiece of horror is born, on a par with Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch, and starring an electric Nicolas Cage - ou DVD, BD and VoD on Monday, October 29th [Read More...]

The Last Jedi: is it about time the Empire strikes OUT?
Critics raved about the latest Star Wars franchise, showering the script and the performances with the most generous adjectives, yet most die-hard fans begged to differ - Steve Naish explains why, and hazards a guess what comes next [Read More...]

David Lynch: The Art Life
Peeling back a multilayered artist: brand new doc examines the life of the legendary filmmaker from his early years all the way to the making of his first feature - out in selected cinemas [Read More...]

The Strange Coalescence of Dirty Dancing and Blue Velvet
The blithely joyous musical and David Lynch's somber cult classic have more in common than it may seem at first; in fact, the two films are cinematic bedfellows - British born and Canada based writer Steve Naish digs under the surface of both films and unearths their dirty and hidden facets [Read More...]

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