Paid In Sweat: FAME (1980)


Revue Cinema Thu, Sep 14, 2023 7:00 PM
Film Info
Release Year:1980
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Alan Parker
Cast:Irene Cara
Barry Miller
Maureen Teefy
Paul McCrane
Lee Curreri


Young talents compete for limited spots at the New York School of the Performing Arts. Once they get in, they struggle with many more challenges than just the curriculum. We follow the class from freshman to senior year as they try to navigate their way to their ultimate desire: FAME.


Alan Parker’s Fame is misunderstood. The soundtrack is so beloved that over the years it has been remembered as the surface of the brightest tracks. It has gleeful moments, to be sure, but it is a gritty New York drama akin to Saturday Night Fever, another film of nuances, one with deep messaging that has been misinterpreted because of a danceable soundtrack. Its reputation does not do its themes and content justice. These students are wading through intense artistic journeys while trying to avoid the pitfalls of fame. They deal with situations that run from illiteracy to sexual coercion (something that we’ve had under a microscope in recent years), and they look like real youth of the era while doing it. They are pushed to their personal limits and get tangled in the exploits of the industry that still permeates today. Fame is a brilliant examination of what could be when you put your heart on the line to explore your gifts. Nothing is certain, but it sure is promising and exciting. (VANYA GARRAWAY)