Remember their names

Remember their names

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Movie remake celebrates those who work hard for the spotlight, writes Karly Cox.

As the catwalk continues to be inspired by the decade that fashion forgot, the film world, too, is taking inspiration from the 80s, albeit in a far less visually offensive manner.

Blazing the trail for a string of movies based on 1980s TV show movies, which includes the rumoured Dallas and The A-Team , is Fame . Originally a 1980 Oscar-winning film by Alan Parker ( Bugsy Malone, Angela's Ashes ), the concept - young performing artists struggling to make it big - proved popular enough to spawn a long-running television series and a stage musical.

While it may seem that every other person these days wants to be famous - and many chase that dream by entering reality TV competitions - true, lasting fame is something that has to be earned through hard work, commitment and devotion.

When the first film was released, says producer Tom Rosenberg, 'the nature of fame was probably more linked to talent than it is today, and there was the perception that hard work and struggle were involved in fame'. With today's culture of instant celebrity, much of the struggle and heartache true stars experience is forgotten, and so in this film, says Rosenberg, 'as in the original, the idea is to examine the real work and talent it takes to be an artist.'

The film follows the fortunes of a group of teenage actors, singers and dancers over their four years at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. As each student strives for his or her moment in the spotlight, they learn just how tough the industry is, and take an arduous journey of self-discovery.

Like the youngsters in the film, 24-year-old director Kevin Tancharoen knows how hard the fame game can be. Picked from a list of around 40 potential directors, Tancharoen has worked as a dancer and choreographer for stars like Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. He has felt the insecurity every artist experiences.

'Before I was a choreographer, I was that dancer with a number on his chest waiting to find out if I'd made the cut,' Tancharoen says. 'On this movie ... I lived out my own Fame story.'

The talented young cast, too, have worked hard to get where they are, living alternative versions of their characters' experiences and lending the film a sense of honesty and gritty reality.

'The cast brings an authenticity to the characters,' Tancharoen says. 'They understand this world. Essentially, they themselves are the characters in the movie.'

Along with a soundtrack that combines songs from the original movie - including the Oscar-winning title track - with contemporary numbers, stunning choreography and heartfelt performances, this is one high school musical you don't want to miss.

Opens on October 1st.

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