Meet the man who has deconstructed Dirty Dancing, Dennis Hopper and much more
Stephen Lee Naish is a writer, independent researcher, and cultural critic. Originally from Leicester, UK, he now resides in Kingston, Ontario, Canada with his wife Jamie, a third year PHD student in Cultural Studies and their son Hayden, a post-doc student in Star Wars Philosophy.
Steve studied media and filmmaking at Leicester college in the late ’90s. He then set up a one-man film company called FrameDropFilms, which produces music video, music documentaries, and video installations for local, and visiting bands and artists. When the smell of stale beer and dirty cigarette smoke got too much, he turned his attention to writing about film. At the age of 27 he went back to school and studied with The Open University in the fields of creative writing, essay writing, and contemporary politics.
Steve’s writing explores film, film memory, politics, and pop culture and the places where these entities meet. His writing has appeared in numerous journals and periodicals, including Candid Magazine, The Quietus, 3:AM, Empty Mirror, Gadfly, and Everyday Analysis. He also writes book reviews for Review 31, Hong Review of Books and LSC Review of Books.
Steve is the author of three books, the essay collection ‘U.ESS.AY: Politics and Humanity in American Film (Zero Books, 2014), Create or Die: Essays on the Artistry of Dennis Hopper’ (Amsterdam University Press, 2016), and ‘Bringing Up Baby: Deconstructing Dirty Dancing’ (Zero Books, 2017). His next book, coming in 2019 with Headpress is about Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers.
He has had essays published in a number of anthologies, most recently in Everyday Analysis’s third volume of essays entitled ‘Politactics’, and a short story in Centum Publishing’s 100 voices anthology. His influences are wide, but narrows it down to Dennis Hopper, Crispin Glover, Nicolas Cage, Stanley Kubrick, Kelly Reichardt, Lynn Shelton, Joe Strummer, Shia Labeouf, Barbara Ehrenreich, and Chris Hedges. He once received in the mail a pirated DVD copy of Dennis Hopper’s The Last Movie (1971) from Alex Cox.
Most of his writing eventually appears here and he can be followed by clicking right here.
Other posts by Steve Naish
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...]
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...]