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Saturday, January 31, 2009
DE PALMA'S FLASHDANCE PARODY
UPDATED February 3 2009
 IN THE SEEMINGLY FORGOTTEN VIDEO FOR "RELAX"


Pop Music Notes yesterday ran a post about music videos that have been reshot for certain markets. Included is a comparison of the three videos shot for Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax. The first one "featured what can best be described as a leather bar/sex club setting," according to the post, which was perhaps a little risque for regular music channels. Godley & Creme then directed a more standard performance video with a laserbeam theme. And later on, to help promote Body Double, which featured the song as kind of a centerpiece, Brian De Palma directed a video for the song that included scenes from his film. However, there is often confusion about this rare clip, as the scene in the film itself plays much like a music video (the clip taken directly from Body Double is all over YouTube, and that is the one originally posted at Pop Music Notes-- it has since been corrected).

The actual music video (posted above) features extra shots that are not in the film, including a close-up of the "Indian" walking around the club, and the members of the band on stage (laserbeams included), and later, looking through telescopes set up at the club's window and seeing several scenes from Body Double, including said "Indian" about to murder Gloria Revelle (the video ends with the suspension of the murder and the lead singer turning his head from the telescope, looking directly at the audience as he sings "Come" and the frame freezes-- as if to say "go to the movies to see what happens!"). Also included in the video is a very funny parody of Flashdance, a film De Palma was almost coerced into directing. Around 1982, De Palma had signed on to direct Flashdance believing that if he did this one for the team, the producer would help De Palma get his pet project on the Yablonski murders in gear. However, De Palma quit Flashdance after two weeks.

In the Relax video, a man (who may or may not be a member of the band) dressed up as a woman in a wig and a dress (another De Palma staple given extra weight in a film called Body Double) does a Flashdance-type routine on stage that culminates with the money shot of the transvestite pulling the chain that lets the water loose onto his/her body as it sits in a chair, just as the music breaks (and just before the lead singer lets out the song's trademark "huh!"). As Drew points out in a comment to this post, the joke's origin also seems to lay in the fact that "the Flashdance filmmakers famously used a male body double for several of Flashdance-star Jennifer Beales' more complicated dance moves," including a breakdance audition scene. (Thanks, Drew!)

They should really include this video on any future DVD release of the film.


Posted by Geoff at 12:17 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 12:12 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink | Share This Post

Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 2:10 AM CST

Name: "John"
Home Page: http://popmusicnotes.wordpress.com

Thanks for the mention...greatly appreciated!  Interesting blog, and great layout. 

Monday, February 2, 2009 - 1:45 PM CST

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

Thanks, John-- I've been enjoying perusing through your blog, as well.

Monday, February 2, 2009 - 10:16 PM CST

Name: "Drew"

Mention should also be made that the essence of the Flashdance joke isn't only that he was involved with that movie, but also that the Flashdance filmmakers famously used a male body double for several of Flashdance-star Jennifer Beals's more complicated dance moves. 

Monday, February 2, 2009 - 11:51 PM CST

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

Thanks, Drew-- I was not aware of that! Very interesting...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 4:02 AM CST

Name: "Drew"

No problem, Geoff.  Glad that my knowledge of arcan Flashdance trivia could help shake the pillars of heaven.  Keep up the great De P reportage.

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