Book Club / Culture

A24’s newest coffee table book celebrates the best dance scenes in film history

a24 on the dance floor

“There’s something special about a dance floor," says Cher in the foreword to A24's latest coffee table book. "It’s like a way to take yourself off this planet.” It's unsurprising that the production company chose Cher to pen the opening statement for On the Dance Floor: Spinning Out On Screen, even if we look past her influence as a 70s disco icon, we still have that closing dance scene from Mermaids. You know the one, with Winona Ryder and a Christina Ricci so cute and tiny you want to pinch her cheeks. There's something uplifting about seeing the three actors bob around the dining table, bumping hips and shimmying back and forth – the whole sequence a lesson in catharsis.

In fact, it's cinematic moments like those that On the Dance Floor hopes to spotlight; from the "high school proms and house parties, to discos, raves, and the joys of dancing on your own". The 200-something page compendium gathers all of the most notable movie scenes of actors sweating it out under the twinkling lights of a disco ball. From John Travolta and Uma Thurman twisting it out in Pulp Fiction to Saturday Night Fever and the gymnasium dance of The Virgin Suicides. Choreographers and dancers responsible for Midsommar and Climax weigh in too about the sequences that held their gaze.

Read essay excerpts from Spike Lee and Susan Sontag, Jeffrey Eugenides and Sofia Coppola; as well as contributions from Paul Thomas Anderson, Honor Swinton Byrne, Gaspar Noé, and many, many more. Charli XCX waxes lyrical about the beauty of a living room dancefloor, and there's even a diary entry framed from the perspective of Mia Wallace.

It really is the perfect coffee table book, through-and-through, binded with equal parts entertainment history, transfixing imagery, fantasy and pure thrills. You can purchase On the Dance Floor: Spinning Out On Screen at the A24 website for $58. It complements our Euphoria issue 102, wonderfully too.

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Images: A24 website