Award winning director Ron Mann (Grass, Comic Book Confidential) takes the viewer on another hilarious, hip-swinging journey into pop history. More than just 'the dance craze that swept the nation', the twist symbolized an era of transition between Eisenhower's 50s and the counter-culture's 60s - from innocent youths to socially conscious hippies. A superb orchestration of archival footage, performances and interviews, Twist is as much fun as it is culturally intriguing. Home Vision Entertainment is proud to present this award-winning documentary on DVD for the first time.
Non-enthusiasts may wonder how a documentary on a single outmoded dance might hold a viewer's attention for an entire 78 minutes, but Twist is really about the birth of freestyle dancing. Director Ron Mann (Grass, Comic Book Confidential), who could probably make a fascinating documentary on fingernail clippings, creates a sense of fun by dividing his film into dance "lessons," using actual instruction tapes. He sprinkles each section with vintage clips, overwrought headlines from the '60s, and interviews with the songwriters, singers, and American Bandstand dancers who started the craze. "Twist" songwriter Hank Ballard's version of the dance was considered too risqué for TV, but when Chubby Checker "made it nice" on American Bandstand, the move swept the nation, leading to other steps like "The Monkey," "The Potato," and eventually the do-your-own-thing of today. All of this is recorded with plenty of music, dancing, and fond testimonials, making it as fun a documentary as you'll ever see. --Kimberly Heinrichs