Fame (the original)

Fame (1980,Alan Parker)

What IMDB says:

A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.

What I say:

Holy moly!  Fame is stressful!  This movie reminded me a lot of the movie Centre Stage, which focuses on ballet dancers trying to get into and stay at school.  Fame, portrays a high school for the performing arts, and is broken up into    : the auditions, freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, senior year.

I gotta admit that some of these “kids” do not look like high school children, especially those starting high school!

Once again, a major theme in this movie is overbearing parents, who are constantly trying to control their children’s lives and futures.  Some of these kids seriously suck, like really suck.  Also, their outfits are amazing!  Oh, the early 80’s was an amazing time for fashion.  I think my favourite part was when Leroy Johnson, who is supposed to be the partner of one of the gals, (and is not trying out), basically does a striptease and then gets into the school.  His partner, who does not get in has an amazing freak out, exclaiming, “who wants to go to a fucking school to learn to dance, anyway!”.  Apparently, Leroy was not “into” high school, but now he is!  Leroy later freaks out because Steve’s mom from ‘Sex and the city’ tries to force him to read, which apparently he can do, but really DOES NOT want to do?!  Me thinks, he doth protest too much!

What is it about high schools in the 80’s?  The buildings always look so dirty and unkempt, also they seem like they would be really cold.  Not sure why, it is just a feeling I get.  So unlike the schools in shows in the 2000’s, which always look really clean and have everything that a student could possibly need or want.  Pool?  Got it!  Outdoor atrium for eating lunch?  Got it!  Beautiful cafeteria, with excellent food?  Well, maybe not that.  Teachers who sleep with their students?  Probably.  Offices with in-depth files on students?  For sure!  And don’t get me started on the food!  The food in 80’s movies always looks disgusting!

This school looks super hard!  Not only do you have all of the classes that pertain to your artistic field, dancing, music, or acting, but also have academic classes as well.  Just watching this movie makes me want to take a nap, also because this movie is two, frigging hours long!

Much the same as tv shows, like ‘Sex and the city’, New York plays a key role in this movie.  The characters are quintessentially New Yorkers, and many of the scenes depict classic New York in the early 80’s.  This movie would have been a lot different if set somewhere else, like say Flin Flon, Manitoba.  I highly doubt that the ‘Fame’ dance scene in the street would actually happen in real life.  The headlines instead of reading, “large group of singing and dancing teens take over the street and shut down traffic!”, it would read “massive bloodshed on 47th street, when singing and dancing teens are straight-up murdered by angry New York drivers!”

I think Doris and Leroy have the most interesting story-lines.  Doris makes friends with a gay guy who is seeing an analyst, and she is constantly trying to find herself.  She wants to change her name to Dominique.  Also, she wears a beret!  Leroy, gets a lot out of high school, not only does he learn to read, but he gets laid!  Also, he has some really interesting fashion choices, like his crop top sweater that says his name on it.  He wore it while wearing goggles and roller skating around the school.  Amazing!

I went to college for theatre, and found most of the characters annoyingly accurate.  But, I got to say the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ scene is my total favourite!!  I really wish I could go back in time, get dressed up, and go to the theatre and watch that movie!  So good!  It is one of my all-time favs!

In general, this is a movie that anyone who likes the 80’s should watch, even just for the fact that it is SO 80’s!!  The music is pretty good, and the fashion is excellent.

Quotable: “Tits book bands!”; “I must remember this feeling and use it in my acting!”

Fame receives 3.5 pirouetting 30 year olds playing 15 year olds out a possible 5.


Author: kristaskene

A movie, book, and music lover. I love to offer my, hopefully witty, and always sarcastic thoughts.

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