Friday, March 05, 2010
Fame: "Remember my name" (1980)
Fame is set at New York's High School of Performing Arts, where talented teens train for arts-related careers. The film is concentrated on gifted students: singer Coco (Irene Cara), actors Montgomery (Paul McCrane) and Ralph (Barry Miller), dancer Leroy (Gene Anthony Ray), and musician Bruno (Lee Currieri). Director Alan Parker illustrates an inspiring story of rough New York teenagers who are given free rein to grow up and make their own journeys while attending an arts high school; their talent enables them to overcome their backgrounds, their sometimes terrifying social issues, and their own personal shortcomings. Followed by Footloose and Dirty Dancing, Fame is one of the most prominent films focused on dance and the arts as a metaphor for successful development and maturation. Although a distinctly 80s film due to the teenage fashions and award nominated soundtrack, Fame stands the test of time as it deals with students and their struggles, trials, and efforts to succeed; Montgomery deals with his own acceptance of his sexuality and Coco is forced to consider how far she’s willing to go to achieve great success. In addition to these conflicts, Fame also emphasizes the importance of keeping up one's academic achievements in an arts specialized school. The music and dancing are spectacular and entertaining with spontaneous dancing in the streets as well as a staged, ending musical performance at graduation. Fame is a feel-good movie and remains relevant to current audiences. A remake of Fame was released in 2009.