At the New York City High School for the Performing Arts, students get specialized training that often leads to success as actors, singers, etc. This movie follows four students from the time when they audition to get into the school, through graduation. They are the brazen Coco Hernandez, shy Doris Finsecker, sensitive gay Montgomery MacNeil, and brash, abrasive Raul Garcia.Written by
When François starts talking to Coco in the café, the donut on her plate and items on the bar next to her keep moving between shots. See more »
I sing the body electric, I celebrate the me yet to come, I toast to my own reunion, When I become one with the sun!
And I'll look back on Venus, I'll look back on Mars, And I'll burn with the fire of ten million stars, And in time, And in time, We will all be stars.
I sing the body electric, I glory in the glow of rebirth, Creating my own tomorrow, When I shall embody the earth...
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It builds up--and then insults--its own characters
"Fame", about students attending the four-year Manhattan's School for the Performing Arts, looks right, feels right, and sometimes sounds right--but, too soon, the film becomes a muddled soap opera about talented young people reaching too far for their stars. Screenwriter Christopher Gore and director Alan Parker build up and then insult their own characters, though the ensemble cast does good work and Parker has alert eyes and ears. Sharper editing might have left some of his pretensions and absurdities out of the mix (after one student admits to being homosexual--not just once, to a girl student, but twice, to the rest of his class and teacher--he is seen in tight close-up putting on lipstick; this is done for a sniggering effect, which is stupefying once you realize the ENTIRE CLASS is dolled-up to look like characters from "Rocky Horror"). The gay kid isn't the only one being humiliated; the manufactured slapping-down is then used several more times, on the promising disco queen, the wealthy white ballerina, the talkative dancer, the stand-up comedian and the illiterate who may not graduate because of his failing grades. If people respond to the movie, it's due to the cinematography (which captures some of New York City's squalor and dusty classrooms with a bracing realism), the propulsive soundtrack and the cynical-funny talk. The characters are quite a different matter--they become plot-mechanisms, their pitfalls punctuated by a director who can almost be heard saying, "Look! See!"
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