Friday, January 31, 2014

Trailer Not on the DVD: Star 80 (1983, Bob Fosse)

I posted a Star 80 TV spot a few years ago.  Now, from the Warner Archive VOD YouTube channel, we have what appears to be a theatrical trailer (sans billing block).  Hopefully, a widescreen Blu-ray (we can dream) or DVD of Fosse's final film is coming soon from Warner Archive.  There is an ancient, full-frame, feature-less DVD, which now seems to be OOP and quite pricey.

And, while we're on this topic, I must give a shout out to Ralph Burns for his highly effective, pop-inspired score.  The track on this trailer evokes "Tubular Bells" in a striking fashion; I can't recall if it appears in the film proper, but I assume it's a Burns composition.

More of Burns' awesome work--why was there no soundtrack LP for a BOB FOSSE film for crissakes?!--can be heard in the below scenes, to my ears, the music drawing inspiration from disco, Billy Joel, "I'm So Excited," and "On Broadway."  Love the American Gigolo vibe of the shopping scene.

These Roberts-centric scenes take on a fun, humorous quality, when taken out of the context of the larger narrative, which is, of course, quite tragic, disturbing, and unpleasant.  More than most other instances of actors essaying people who behave badly, that I can recall, Roberts plays this scumbag seemingly without any regard to how hate-able and pathetic the character and, by extension--he, comes off, resulting in a masterful performance.

This might have something to do with Roberts wanting to make his character (a statutory rapist) in the subsequent Runaway Train more sympathetic by changing him from a hardened New Yorker to a Southern country bumpkin.  And, it almost certainly impacted his future career in a negative way, as he became so associated with, and was so good at, playing a very bad guy.

At the start of the below video, Mickey Rourke preaches the gospel with regards to Roberts when he's supposed to be accepting his Spirit Award for The Wrestler.  Says Rourke, "Eric Roberts is the fuckin' man."


Marc Edward Heuck said...

I have a 35mm trailer for STAR 80 which, as I recall, is rather different; likely it was a teaser. It's been a couple years since I saw it projected, but I remember that it had no narration, and repeatedly alternated between dialogue scenes without music (voices pitched loud, like the BATMAN teaser) intercut with footage underscored by the chorus of Rod Stewart's "D'ya Think I'm Sexy". It was very striking, but I can see why they switched from this oblique approach to the straightforward one in this version.

Ned Merrill said...

Yes, I recall you mentioning this trailer in the previous post, I think. Would be great to see that one, as it does sound like it would be more striking than the one we have here.

Edward Case said...

Star 80 is a brilliant final film by Fosse, but no mention of Sven Nykvist's cinematography? That's a big part of the film.

Also, does ANYONE know the classical piece Ralph Burns quotes in his music? It appears a couple of times and I think it's a Bach fugue.