Saturday, September 15, 2012

Flashdance and Last Chances

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(I heard the line: “If you give up your dreams, you die,” muttered by a character in Flashdance, and I went home, packed, and moved back to California within a month.)

The 1983 movie Flashdance played yesterday on one of those obscure TV stations at the tail end of the Cable.  After watching it, I spoke another word of gratitude that I got to live in the music art and film renaissance of late 20th century America. 

I was 35 when Flashdance came out, but like many in my generation, I still held onto an almost pubescent enthusiasm for all things new and innovative. 

CHANGE

The word “Change” held so much new meaning for the baby boom generation.  Our music was revolutionary, our styles of art broke new ground, cinema became a whole new art form in the hands of those born after World War Two. 

It was so good that so many things were new that baby boomers automatically perceived newness as a positive quality.    

So seeing Flashdance at age thirty-five, I was still grasping at new stuff.  Flash style dancing was the new wild ride and I had to climb on.  The first time I saw Flashdance, Jennifer Beals and the French dancer who played her body in the film flew across the screen and my life was revitalized like Timothy Leary had just stepped off the train.  

It was at least the twenty-fifth time I’d been revitalized in my life, and brought to embrace change and begin a whole new passion. 

In 1983 I saw Flashdance in a Houston, Texas, movie theater.

I heard the line: “If you give up your dreams, you die,” muttered by Michael Nouri’s character, and I literally went home, packed, and moved back to California within a month. 

Then in L.A. I was this new arrival in her mid-thirties taking dance classes and trying to start an acting career. 

Plus I was wearing the leg warmers.

Think slightly overweight slightly over age adolescent wannabe grasping one last time for the open opportunities of youth.  And not getting to them on time. 

Back to Flashdance:

Everyone wore the off the shoulder sweatshirt cut worn by Jennifer Beals and the French dancer who plays her body in Flashdance for years after the film’s release.

I bought a dress in Century City Mall in 1984 that was barely thigh length, sweatshirt material, carefully torn to fall off the shoulder, and the garment was appropriate to wear when working in the offices of Rogers and Cowan Public Relations in Beverly Hills. 

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I love being over sixty and an aging hippie.  I reel.  I’ve got six decades of experiences that from where I sit now, circulate and interact with each other in my head.  There’s this wealth of stimulus, so much art music film and web magic produced in the last sixty years. 

You could grow old today and not move more than a tree, just read through your mind, and be entertained for decades. 

Great time to be alive. 

FOOTNOTE:  Beals' dance double was Marine Jahan, who should have become a star after that performance...
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