In the Ortega household, our favorite decades are the Roaring Twenties, and the Prosperous, Preppy Eighties. Is it because both are characterized by bold fashion statements and lots of parties? (Please, just say no to cocaine, and/or absinthe, opium, and whatever else they did in the twenties.)
Whatever the reason, when autumn rolls around, it hits me: time for eighties movies. That back-to-school feeling practically begs us to revisit and work through teenage angst via Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, or your other favorite John Hughes brat-packer. What’s your favorite eighties movie? Goonies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Adventures in Babysitting, Sixteen Candles? Almost too much goodness to handle.
This fall, for the first time, we saw Flashdance, and it did not disappoint. It kind of felt like the perfect 1980s film, with music montage after music montage. (They were not over doing it, because dancing is a big part of the plot!)
You’ve also got some classic breaking through of class barriers, with our main character, a welder by day and “dancer” by night, who aspires to trade in those jobs for ballet school in Pittsburgh.
Also: Pittsburgh. I don’t know that I’ve seen another film or show set in that city. Perfect for the gritty eighties.
The visuals—warehouses, train tracks—gave Israel the initial inspiration for Mary Tobin’s upcoming birthday party, which he wanted to call “Ballerinas and Teamsters.” Too political, so it got downgraded to “Blue Collar Ballerina” (attire: hard hats and tutus) and will take place at Union Market here in DC, a suitably modern day version of the juxtaposition of industrial and upscale.
Self indulgent parents, we are. Do not tell Mary Tobin the origin of her party. It is inappropriate for a two year old to emulate an “exotic dancer” even if she does aspire to classic ballet greatness.