Living In: Flashdance

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Some of the best things, in my opinion, are underrated. Case in point: the epic, jaw-droppingly over-the-top camp classic Flashdance. When this precursor to all the dance movies of recent years hit the big screen in 1983, it was almost universally panned by critics, written off as brainless, overly-glitzy Hollywood dreck. The film, set in a rugged-looking Pittsburgh, follows a spunky young woman named Alex who—between working in a dingy steel mill by day and dancing at a seedy cabaret by night—has big dreams of becoming an acclaimed ballet dancer. Despite the film’s admittedly hackneyed plot, it packs enough punch, both visually and musically (you can’t beat those dance numbers!) to make up for it. [Its set decoration and costume design, it should also be noted, are creepily prophetic: 1980s Pittsburgh or 2014 Williamsburg, Brooklyn? Apparently indistinguishable!] Although the film garnered abysmal reviews from the critics, its unexpectedly high box-office success, countless references throughout pop culture, and 2008 stage adaptation prove that Flashdance has indeed had the last laugh. —Max

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1. Slouch Sweatshirt | 2. Sleeper Sofa | 3. Red Pumps | 4. Library Ladder | 5. Lace curtain | 6. Retro Television Pillow | 7. Factory Pendant Light | 8. Irene Cara Album | 9. Racing Bike 

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1. Dress Form | 2. Floor Lamp | 3. American Apparel Legwarmers | 4. Lace Candleholder | 5. Atocha Design Record Cabinet | 6. Persian-style Rug | 7. Lanvin Bow Tie | 8. Floor Pillow

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Film: Flashdance

Year: 1983

Director: Adrian Lyne

Starring: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri

Production Design: Charles Rosen

Set Decoration: Marvin March

Costume Design: Michael Kaplan

  1. leaca says:

    I am an 80’s girl and I loved this movie but I did not start looking at the fashion and decor in movies until later in life so I hadn’t actually thought about this film in that way. thanks for sharing.

  2. I just noticed the news guy on the Tv looks like Ron Burgundy…. who knew? :)

  3. Bérangère says:

    Oh man. Thanks for the memories! I was 14 I wanted to dance, I got to skate instead and I ATE that movie. I still can’t wipe the grin off my face.

  4. Rebecca M says:

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I just might go out, buy a sweatshirt, and cut the collar off, like in the old days.

  5. Suzanne says:

    Ironically I just watched this movie for the first time last night! It had been on my list of movies I somehow missed during my childhood forever and it popped up on Netflix.

  6. Melissa says:

    The soundtrack from this movie was the first album I ever owned!

  7. Tracey says:

    I am an 80s girl! In fact was heavily into ballet classes when this movie came out! Such inspiration for young girls with big dreams!! I have to admit though, Tina Tech was my favorite!! And who wouldn’t LOVE that warehouse apartment? Oh….by the way…I live in Pittsburgh….which made the movie extra special.

  8. Steph says:

    Oh good I just bought some red shoes like that so I’m all set ;)

  9. I noticed the Ron Burgundy thing, too! Glad I’m not alone. Love the post.

  10. Katy Gilmore says:

    Love this! I went to high school with one of the producers of Flashdance – how tickled he’d be to see this! Thanks Max, and now I want to watch it again – looking behind the flash!

  11. Christine says:

    I want to live in her loft!!

  12. Verena says:

    How could you miss noting her band jacket! I’ve been in love with them since!

  13. Pat Schwab says:

    Love that movie and I even paid to see it twice because it was so much fun. I own a copy and my one daughter likes it a lot.

  14. Clair says:

    My best friend had the record and we made up dances to every song. Of course the best song was “Flashdance…What a Feeling”! We were only in second grade and weren’t allowed to watch the movie. I still have never seen it.

  15. gina says:

    This movie just makes you want to DANCE!…also love her pit bull, “Grunt”.

  16. brynn says:

    Love this column and seeing which movies you choose. I was wondering if you’ve thought about doing “Peggy Sue Got Married” ? I was just watching on On Demand and it has such fun sets and clothes.

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