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Breaking Free: Flying Through the Films of Kenny Ortega

Breaking Free: Flying Through the Films of Kenny Ortega

By Zina Ellis
Kenny Ortega has directed and choreographed iconic movies and concerts for the past 4.5 decades. From Ferris Bueller to Dirty Dancing to Hocus Pocus to High School Musical, Kenny has stayed at the forefront of musical storytelling on stage and screen. Host Zina Ellis and her guests soar/fly through Kenny's tropes, stage pictures, and unforgettable songs as they analyze how he has remained so relevant over his years of work. Maybe this is an incredibly long gambit by Zina to get more people to watch High School Musical 3 (the best one), but maybe this could be the start of something... great.
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4.5. Bonus Nonsense!

Breaking Free: Flying Through the Films of Kenny Ortega

4.5. Bonus Nonsense!

Breaking Free: Flying Through the Films of Kenny Ortega

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9. Love Yourself
This episode, I watched a foolish movie called "The Great Outdoors". I did not like it but it made $20 million so I don't feel bad about hating it. I'm sad to have such a blah episode before I go on hiatus, but c'est la vie. We'll be back next year to talk about Newsies, which is sure to be orders of magnitude more delightful than this movie. So stay tuned! But don't watch this movie. Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! I'm serious, don't watch this movie. Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
06:13
August 24, 2021
8. Honestly Just Watch Dirty Dancing Again
Hiiiii thanks for your patience! This episode is the shortest yet because it turned out that Shag (the film discussed this episode) was just not that inspiring to me! Oh, well! Like Dirty Dancing, Shag is a movie about sneaking around to dance with boys on vacation in the summer of 1963 and variously slimy Yale Men (tm), but Dirty Dancing is a much more delightful version of that. But we are completionists here at Breaking Free, so you'd better believe we're talking about it! If you like this movie, please let me know and we can have a Discourse. Anyway! Happy Tuesday to all! Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! You, dear listeners, are the grooviest. Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
37:10
August 03, 2021
7. Salsa and the Art of Motorcycle Safety
This episode, I watched 1988's Salsa, an extremely silly movie with very few likable characters but very many excellent mullets and dances. I'm thrilled to be back on schedule with a normal/short episode! See if you can spot the part of the episode where I disappear for 6 minutes to research the history of motorcycle helmet laws. A truly chaotic film, but it does have a super-rare on-screen Kenny performance! Exciting times in Salsa-land. Check it out! Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! You, dear listeners, are my Puerto Rico. Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
49:32
July 06, 2021
6. Cynthia Rhodes for President
Breaking Free says vote in the New York primary if you can! Baby would want you to. This is the Dirty Dancing episode and the most political BFP ep yet, which may come as no surprise if you're really familiar with the movie. My subject matter expert this week is Sophie Nir, who knows this movie backwards and forward. It's always a delight to chat with people who can really get into the nitty-gritty of these films and expose their dark underbellies. We talk about everything from sexual politics to sexy dancing to the unsung icons of the movie (Cynthia Rhodes should be a household name!!). Next week, we dive back into some more obscure films, so consider the length of this episode as a fond farewell to this period of Kenny's work and not a sign of my inability to briefly recap anything :) Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! I owe it all to you
01:43:29
June 22, 2021
5.5. The Fight Club Theory (And More Ferris Bueller Bonus Chatter)
The Ferris Bueller Bonus Ep has arrived! I hope you enjoy this extended chitchat/outtake content! Stay tuned for Dirty Dancing in the next week or so!
19:05
June 08, 2021
5. Ferris Bueller, Chaos Demon
I'm so excited to (finally) bring you the Ferris Bueller's Day Off episode! Fittingly, I have two of my high school (and middle and elementary school) classmates as my guests! Resident Ferris Bueller Expert Carissa brings the facts, while the elusive and social media-less Maria comes through with an extremely Useful Critical Lens. And they both come through with the print sources. Honestly I'm just along for the ride. Another extra-long ep, but I feel like that's allowed when there are 3 people and when the movie is as iconic as Ferris Bueller. I suggest listening at 1.5x speed if you really want life to come at you fast. Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! (Listener name), you're my hero :) Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
01:38:07
June 02, 2021
4.5. Bonus Nonsense!
Oh, friends, I have dug up the most coherent nuggets of the Pretty in Pink chat that didn't make the Main Episode cut, and I've cobbled them together into this lil bonus ep! It is hard out here for a simple solo podcastress, but hopefully you enjoy! I had to dig through my computer's time machine to find these clips, so please lend your li'l ears. Check the Insta for the accompanying photoshop, as per uzhje!
04:51
May 21, 2021
4. A Subtle Dweezil
Just like Andie showing up to the prom, this episode is fashionably late! Zane Phillips and I chatted about Pretty in Pink for 2.5 hours, but I managed to get it down to a clean 1.5ish. There may be a bonus episode if I can overcome some File Troubles, but in the meanwhile, please enjoy the real deal as we talk about Kenny Ortega's brief but impactful number with Jon Cryer and note some of the resonant themes that show up in Kenny's later work. We also discuss strong lips, potential podcast merch, The Duckie Problem, and Dweezil Zappa. I'm extra thrilled to hear your thoughts and comments now that we're in the John Hughes chapter and hitting some films that are truly I for iconic! Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! You are all beautiful regardless of what color you wear. Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
01:20:48
May 13, 2021
3. It's St. Elmo's Fire.
Exactly what it says on the tin: this is the St. Elmo's Fire episode! A film that you've actually heard of! Even though Kenny Ortega's work is only on screen for a few minutes, guest Jake Beckhard and I manage to talk about the movie for a good long time. We chat about saxophone care, the power of vintage Demi Moore, and how Rob Lowe and Ally Sheedy have '00s doppelgangers (Zac Efron and Emma Watson, respectively). Also the guiding question acronym has shifted once again. Here at Breaking Free, we are constantly learning and evolving. Or perhaps, coming of age.... how apropos. Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time! I love you all very much even if Kevin thinks love is an illusion :) Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
01:18:37
April 27, 2021
2. Like Spit on a Griddle
Surprise! It's episode 2! We're biweekly, babes! Today we're talking about One from the Heart, a little-known Francis Ford Coppola movie with choreography by the one and only Kenny Ortega. Spoiler alert: it is not a very good movie. Kenny's work is great, though! I offer some constructive criticism and thoughts on the themes in addition to clocking the body rolls where they appear. Y'know. The important stuff. Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time, and keep an eye out every other Tuesday for new episodes! This one's from the heart
55:49
April 13, 2021
1. Xanadu. Xanadu. Xanadu.
Wow, y'all. Episode 1 is finally here, and we're talking about Xanadu, Kenny Ortega's first film credit! Starring Olivia Newton-John, Gene Kelly, and Michael Beck, this film was meant to reinvigorate the movie musical which it honestly.... did not. But it did bring us a lot of great music by ONJ and the Electric Light Orchestra, and of course, it brought us Kenny! Skyler Ross is my absolutely delightful guest, so come through and discover how many times I can refer to the script of Xanadu as "the text" (seriously it's so many)(can't take the theater major out of the girl)! Please subscribe and follow the pod on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for even more content and updates, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page! I welcome comments on the movies we'll be talking about, as well as on the show itself! And if you feel like supporting me with a $ or two, you can do so through Anchor or Buy Me A Coffee. Thank you so much for your time and for bearing with me as I learn the ways of the podcast! There's no one else I'd rather be suspended in time with :) Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
01:01:48
March 30, 2021
The Trailer!
Hi, friends! Thanks for taking this journey with me! Keep an eye out for episode 1 in the very near future. It will either be Xanadu or a concert film, but either way, it will be the '80s and Olivia Newton-John will be there. What more could you ask for? Follow the pod on Instagram and Twitter for even more content, and feel free to send me an email or voice message at breakingfreepod@gmail.com or my Anchor page, respectively (I'm especially interested in 6 Degrees of Kenny Ortega prompts because it has swiftly become my new favorite game)! Thanks again, and I'll talk to you soon! Music: Soar by Scott Buckley – www.scottbuckley.com.au
03:07
February 08, 2021