Well, here The Spiralling Shape continues its occasional series in which Wendy catches up with seminal dancing, singing, music movies from the 1980s that she has never managed to watch before. Today’s topic is Fame (1980).
What’s weird about this is that as a young person we watched the TV series Fame well before I encountered the movie. Then one day, not long after my family bought a VHS recorder, we rented the movie Fame thinking it would be similar in tone etc to the television episodes. Big mistake. After half an hour of “bad language” (i.e. swearing) the video was turned off and I never got to see it again until yesterday. I might have been 11 or so at the time I think.
So what a treat to sit down last night and watch Alan Parker’s film. (One of my other absolute favourites is The Commitments). Fame was nicely gritty and is certainly is no High School Musical. That’s a good thing by the way. I was particularly oblivious to the other songs that were in the film (apart from the title track which is perhaps the most annoying). I enjoyed them a lot even if they seem a bit sappy now (nearly thirty years later). I loved the scenes where Doris and Ralph went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the depiction of the difficulties of actually ever making a living in the performing arts. Speaking as one who studied a degree in music long ago, it seems very few people “make it” (whatever that really means) and many, years later, find themselves doing very different jobs to those they dreamed of at age 17. I don’t think I’ll bother with the just released remake. But here, for your enjoyment is the final song.
Verdict: It has aged more gracefully than Footloose. Next stop…maybe Flashdance. My hopes aren’t high for that one.2 Comments »