An oral history of Fame: ‘We were dancing on cars in the epicentre of porn and filth!’

An oral history of Fame: ‘We were dancing on cars in the epicentre of porn and filth!’

August 19, 2020

It was the late director Alan Parker’s most enduring hit, capturing what it was to be young and ambitious in the hot, gritty New York of 1980. The cast and crew reflect on the acting, fighting, flirting and fallout

• ‘The most important experience of my youth’: Fame star Barry Miller on Alan Parker

Forty years ago, Alan Parker’s musical about a group of teenagers at the New York High School for the Performing Arts was released.

Originally titled Hot Lunch after one of the composer Christopher Hope’s key numbers, the film is a crowd-pleaser with a heart of ice. For all the fun and legwarmers, this isn’t some starry-eyed fantasy. Rather, its edge and pessimism make it a remarkably responsible piece of film-making, with a conclusion about the wisdom of pursuing a career in the arts that is ambivalent at best.

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