Tuesday, August 10, 2010

three decades of GLITZ

It's thursday and almost forgot about yesterday, when a legendary cult bad bad really bad movie, one of my all time favorites, turned 30. Whew! the time passed so fast we hardly noticed.
I'm surprised that some people actually don't know about the existence of "Xanadu" or the fact that Olivia Newton-John (fantastic pop star and NOT JUST the girl who played "Sandy" on "Grease") starred in it. Others are also quite oblivious about the plot which was pure disco nonsense: the core of the flick is the friendship between Sonny Malone, a record sleve designer, and Danny McGuire (played by Gene Kelly, in his last movie before his death ten years later), an ex jazz musician from the 1930s. Both men are enchanted by the same woman: a muse named Kira, one of Zeus' golden daughters sent to Earth in a flash of neon lights and roller skates. Her lady power inspire Sonny and Danny to transform an old theatre (the Pan-Pacific Auditorium) into a other-worldly place called...what else...Xanadu!

The critics, or should I call them the cynics, tend to focus on the really bad acting instead of what's so beautiful about the film: the choreography, the editing, the animation (at one point, Sonny and Kira suddenly are trapped in a Disney-like fantasy) and of course, the music, provided by Livvy, brit legend Cliff Richard, rock group The Tubes on a jazz-new wave hybrid called "Dancin'" and the Electric Light Orchestra, who puts the cherry on the milkshake on the classic title track, the one that goes on forever. The story and its legacy is still going strong thanks to the gay comunity taking it to heart and a Broadway adaptation that was quite popular in 2007-08.

MP3: Olivia Newton-John and the Tubes - Dancin'

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