Flashdance (1983)

For too many years, the cliche has been that movies no longer have plots. I think what that really means is that in the past four decades, movies have become more focused on visuals, special effects, and music than dialog and pure narrative. The results are loud pictures full of fast cuts and set pieces centered on action or punch lines, all in sharp contrast to classics like the Godfather, which balance the elements of good film making. The result has been an excess of effects-driven franchises, animated features, empty romcoms, and carelessly assembled musicals.

No movie typifies this shift more than Flashdance (1983). It does have a plot, albeit one that’s very slim and leaves no mystery about how it will play out from the opening credits. It’s really just a series of music videos, surrounded by a fairy tale that’s a cross between Cinderella and Pygmalion–not that Shaw or the Brothers Grimm would recognize their influence.


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