We’re loving 92YTribeca’s current retrospective devoted to Sultan of Synth Giorgio Moroder, the man who helped shape the sound of western civilization in the 1980s through his work on soundtracks for movies like Top Gun and Flashdance.
Tonight, the latter screens as part of the through-April-30 series Electronic Dreams: Giorgio Moroder Film + Music (which also includes live music inspired by the Moroder sound) so we have to ask: When’s the last time you saw Jennifer Beals and her army of dance body doubles—including b-boy stalwart (and leader of the hip-hop dancing Rock Steady Crew) Crazy Legs, who subs for Beals in the audition’s breakdance sequence—on a big screen? Yep, you’re overdue.
Quick plot recap (Flashdance does actually have a plot, flimsy though it may be): Pittsburgh, early 1980s. Alex “My Name Sounds Not Coincidentally Like a Dude’s” Owens—lone chick welder by day, exotic dancer by night—dreams of being a real dancer one day, the non-exotic kind: She wants to dance at (pinkies up!) the ballet. After hacking the necklines out of her sweatshirts and bedding older rich guy Michael Nouri, Alex gives the stuffy audition panel a taste of her fresh, non-ballet-ish dance moves, and everyone lives happily ever after, more or less.
But none of this matters, because Flashdance –directed by Adrian Lyne—is basically an extremely longform music video (made when the form itself was still nascent), backed with tunes produced by Moroder: "Lady, Lady, Lady," "Seduce Me Tonight" and the Irene Cara career highlight "Flashdance ... What a Feeling,” which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. All of which makes you realize that the 1980s were a decade in which songs carried more heft in movies. Who’s the Moroder of today? We can’t think of one.
92YTribeca presents the movies in a “glorious 35mm print and with the sound cranked for maximum enjoyment.” Yes please.