"She's a maniac, maniac on the floor. She will kill your cat and nail it to the door." - The initial lyrics to THAT song, which Giorgio Moroder wrote for a whole other film and retrofitted for this one.

1983 film starring Jennifer Beals as a welder by day and exotic dancer by night. Wants to get into a conservatory and dance professionally. Obligatory romantic plot tumor. Lots of fanservicey bits. Mega happy ending. Kinda like Billy Elliot with its "industrial working class person wants to get into middle/upper class line of work despite crab mentality of fellows" but with more gratuitous nudity and fewer picket lines and Pitmatic accents.

It's not aged well.

Everything about it screams, 1980s. The big hair. The lycra. The drum machines and sparkly synth. Not to mention, of course, the grey off-the-shoulder sweater which reportedly sold in droves after this came out and, ill-advisedly, staged a brief return to fashion a couple of years back. (Ladies, please don't wear these. Unless you are tall and thin like Jennifer Beals, then, like those godawful smocks that were big in the 70s and keep threatening to come back, they make you look pregnant.) Legwarmers. The "you can do it if you want it bad enough" underlying message. All of it scream, "THIS WAS MADE IN THE NINETEEN EIGHTIES" harder than anything.

As a bit of a critic, the thing about Flashdance that strikes me the most is that it's actually rather nicely filmed and directed. Very strikingly framed a lot of the time. However the plot, acting, writing, and similar is thinner than most of its leading actresses' costumes. Which makes sense really. The whole film is basically an excuse to link together a bunch of slickly produced music videos. And it is quite slick. Three second pause. Pull the string. Slow motion sploosh. "He's a dream..." and Jennifer Beals gets soaked to the skin in silhouette. The bit with the flashing on and off lights as well. The ice skating where you only see the skater's shadow on the ice. Not to mention the shot across Jennifer and all the other applicants' feet where they've all got ballet pumps and she's got great clumpy boots. And the choreography is impressive, although slightly deflating when you realise that she had three body doubles, one of whom was a male b-boy called Crazy Legs (which probably makes him the first crossdresser in hip hop) and of whom I'm still convinced you can see the ballsack if you freeze-frame at the critical moment.

Writing blows though, despite some amusing lines - "What's this? A lesbian with a hard on!" "As a matter of fact, I fucked his brains out." Plot utterly infeasible as well. Furthermore, I mean, come on, no strip club I've ever seen as a full-on T-shaped stage and fancy enough lighting rigs to do what happens in Mawby's Bar here. Also there'd be a cavalcade of wowsers trying to get it shut down constantly. Acting is questionable and wooden, but you're not really all that bothered about that, are you. No sir. The reason you're holding that bucket of popcorn so closely over your lap is the torrent of bums and tits that are heading your way every other scene. To be fair, that's the number one reason to watch it, really.

Also, if you ever pick the theme song at karaoke, it's way better if you do it in death metal vocals.

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