Some of you will remember that I have been revisited of late by random songs from the past (particularly big female vocal numbers). A while back it was a Carpenters song. Then it was Dusty Springfield/Guys'n'Dolls. And then last week I found myself wandering about in this song from a certain 1980 movie:
Now if you hate that song (and I have to say it is verging on the power ballad...one of my least favourite genres...) you should know that the dialogue straight after this clip features the character Bruno Martelli saying 'that was nice, really' and Coco Hernandez (played by Irene Cara in the film) muttering the words 'sentimental shit' in reply. And it kind of is sentimental nonsense I suppose...but I still kind of like it (who hasn't felt 'out there on their own' once in while...I often feel it as far as poetry goes...). Also 'Fame' was a big part of my teenage life so it's no surprise that I'm still prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt getting on for thirty years later.
Even though the film 'Fame' came out a while before the OTT TV series I'm pretty sure I watched the TV show long before its more sophisticated Alan Parker-directed cousin. I was at my weird Quaker boarding school from the age of 11 so I didn't get to the cinema much - plus this was in the days before laptops and personal dvds so we just had one TV between what felt like hundreds of us. Basically this meant we watched very, very little TV (hell, we were too busy drinking and smoking and experimenting with sex) but I do remember watching 'Top of the Pops' and 'Fame' (both in a large common room with at least 30 other people). I think during 'Fame' some of us even danced around a lot (like they do here in the film but with less ability, I imagine). Eventually at some point I managed a trip to one of Middlesbrough's two tired old cinemas and saw the film (where young people in New York drink and smoke and experiment with sex) and I remember being quite surprised by it (no real clear story, nudity, drugs, lots of poverty...none of these really existed in the TV series). The movie does have some cheesey moments but it has some pretty good sections too (and I know this because I hadn't seen it for years so I got it sent from lovefilm last week and spent a couple of very legwarmer-filled hours lost with Leroy and Doris and funny-fringed Coco). Strangest of all though was the bizarre sight of 'ER's Dr Romano, Paul McCrane, (with hair!) playing acting student Montgomery MacNeil.
Much as I enjoyed revisiting the film I haven't been tempted back to the TV series (in fact I have always wondered how much 'Fame', in particular the glossier, frothier TV version, contributed to the rise and rise of celebrity culture, X Factors and all that). It did tell teenagers over and over that singing and dancing and acting was the best a person could get. Maybe it told it too well.
And now back to the laundry.
San Juan and Masca
1 hour ago