Sunday, September 15, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Flashdance (1983) **

R, 95 min.
Director: Adrian Lyne
Writers: Tom Hedley, Joe Eszterhas Jr.
Starring: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri, Lilia Skala, Sunny Johnson, Kyle T. Heffner, Lee Ving, Rob Karabatsos

I’ve been doing this thing lately where I just can’t resist catching up on iconic movies available on Netflix instead of keeping up with more recent releases to home video. Notice I used the term “iconic” rather than “classic”. The latter term implies a degree of quality that I’m not necessarily seeking out in my retrospective viewing. So, I’m not necessarily consuming great cinema, but I am catching up on movies that made some sort of impact in my youth that I never had the chance to see for myself.

“Flashdance” is not a good movie. It was a big deal when it was originally released, however. It was controversial because of the adult nature of its female ironworker heroine’s moonlighting profession. I suppose the fact that she was a steelworker was also controversial in that Hollywood “look at how we played with gender stereotypes” way. Whatever it was, I remember my parents talking about this movie, and they were not its target audience.

I suppose it’s not really a surprise coming from filmmakers like Adrian Lyne and Joe Eszterhas, filmmakers responsible for such films as “Showgirls”, “Indecent Proposal”, and “Basic Instinct”, that the movie is just a small step above erotica. Instead of hanging an excuse for sex scenes on a paper thin plot, those sex scenes have been supplanted by dance sequences which are nothing more than excuses to ogle Jennifer Beals’ body in dance attire and sweat. This movie is pretty much the foreplay to Lyne’s next film “Nine ½ Weeks”. Anyway, if you’re looking for some soft-core porn with Hollywood production values, “Flashdance” does its job; but if your looking for some cinematic depth that might warrant the attention the film got at the time of its release, it’s pretty thin.

No comments: