Girl Walk // All Day Might Be the Best Movie of the Year

11/01/2012 9:00 AM |

girlwalk.jpg

This guerilla dance movie realizes the fantasy of our iPod culture: to dance and leap through the streets to a grooving soundtrack, to bring the way we behave in the privacy of our bedrooms into public, onto New York’s ferries, bridges, markets, rooftops, cemeteries, museums, parades, subways, street fairs, stadiums, and train stations. Here, all the city’s a stage. This is the joy, the exuberance, of being alive in the city.

Featuring three blissful, silly and liberated dancers, the movie by Jacob Krupnick strips the dance-musical of its narrative pretension: there’s no book, no lyrics beyond the sampled hip-hop verses (the movie is set to Girl Talk’s All Day album in its entirety); instead, the emotions and a loose story are communicated physically. This is pure cinema: it’s all movement, all images. It’s almost like Fantasia; it’s probably no accident that the movie ends with a group moving through Central Park holding sparklers, evoking the “Ave Maria” scene that closes the Disney film.

All the dancers are technically fine, but the film bursts to life every time Anne Marsen comes on screen, thanks to her goofy grin, indefatigability, fearlessness, improvisatory spirit, and instant rapport with other dancers and pedestrians. She gets people on the street to dance with her, choreographs routines with them, gets escorted out of Yankee Stadium by police for her antics. Early on, a Hasidic man asks her why she’s dancing. “Because I’m happy,” she says. “You should always be happy,” he tells her—the implication being we should always be dancing. This might be my favorite movie of the year.

Girl Walk // All Day has a weeklong run at reRun in DUMBO starting Friday. More info here. Full disclosure: The L is presenting the film, though I only know that because it says it on the website!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart