Fame (1980)

Alan Parker directs Maureen Teefy, Irene Cara, Gene Anthony Ray in this semi-musical look at the pupils of a prestigious New York school of performing arts.

A hit famous for its catchy theme song. Parker immerses us into this world with full pelt energy. The opening breakneck montage of auditions is sustained impressively… a litany of hope, talent and crushing disappointment. That pretty much sets the tone once things slow down. We never settle on characters long enough to really care about them, and their futures are left pointedly but frustratingly unrealised. Yet for a teen movie of impromptu cafeteria dances and unconvincing stand-up successes, the endeavour has a supringly frank air of loneliness, desperation and exploitation. It doesn’t shy from the pitfalls that young people entering a career in entertainment certainly will suffer. Not as callow as you remember, yet not as joyously fun either.

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