By reconsidering assumptions about mainstream popular culture and its revolutionary possibilities, author Dana Heller reveals that John Waters' popular 1988 film Hairspray is the director's most subversive movie. * Represents the first scholarly work on any of film director John Waters' films * Incorporates original interview material with the director * Reveals meanings embedded in the film's narrative treatment of racial and sexual politics
List of Figures. Acknowledgments. Introducing Hairspray. 1 The Roots. 2 Tangled Genres: The Teenpic Gets a Makeover. 3 Hair with Body: Corpulence, Unruliness, and Cultural Subversion. 4 Highlighting History: Hairspray's Uses of Popular Memory. 5 More Than 20 Years and Still Holding: The Many Lives of Hairspray. Notes. Bibliography. Index.