That ever-elusive question pops up again with this week’s ScreenDance Diaries offering… When does a music video elevate to the ranks of being considered a dance film as opposed to staying a lowly music video? While the question makes for some strong discussion amongst screen dance purists, it makes no difference to me in my viewing experience if the film is compelling and beautiful, which The Acid’s Fame most definitely is.

A dancer fans in "Fame"
A dancer & a yellow fan in “Fame”

Let me admit right off the bat that I was immediately predisposed to Fame because it features the beautiful and wonderful dancer and human Raymond Ejiofor, who I adore and with whom I have had the pleasure to work on more than one occasion. In addition the choreography by the Los Angeles based art-house trio Wife (comprised of Jasmine Albuquerque, Kristen Leahy, and Nina McNeely), is full of feeling and nuance. And while I can’t say I am able to conjure a meaning – nor do I really need to – within the film as a whole, for my money it stands strongly on its own with or without. The direction by Dugan O’Neal is wonderful as is the music, production design, editing, and lighting, and with the choreography and raw movement of the dancers everything works together to create a sense of urgency and honesty that scores big time in my book.

Raymond Ejiofor in "Fame"
Raymond Ejiofor in “Fame”

While Fame is three years old (where does the time go?), as a music video, as a short film, as a whatever, it has a relevance and quality of beauty that endures.


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