Xanadu (1980)


The story of a girl who makes dreams come true.

~ Internet Movie Database


Wow! 1980. The year that most defined my life: I was in my junior year of high school, I had discovered a liking for drugs – pot at the time – and alcohol, and I was bursting out of the closet! This movie was so about the accoutrements that was the background of my life: music, lifestyle and disco(s). Back then I was still indulging female crushes and Olivia Newton-John was a very pretty female at which to look. While Sonny Malone (Michael Beck) was not exactly my cup of tea back then, I was learning that my appreciation of the male body would eventually grow to encompass any human with a penis! 😀

Nine Sisters

Nine Sisters

Another thing I remember about this movie that fascinated me was the Pan-Pacific Auditorium, pictured on the Nine Sisters album cover Sonny Malone (Michael Beck) had been painting in the movie. I had remembered seeing that building in Los Angeles and had always admired the architecture and location. Sadly, life did not imitate art and the Pan-Pacific would be destroyed in a spectacular fire a decade after the movie’s release.

Pan-Pacific Auditorium

Pan-Pacific Auditorium courtesy moviefone.com

The movie was cheesy and not by any means a movie of Oscar acclaim, but it was entertaining as hell and was a good story about hope. The fact that it was located in Los Angeles, and focused on such prestigious locations made it that much better and endearing to this young gay boy with the biggest secret in the world, trying to grow up gay in a straight man’s world. For those 96 minutes in the dark, I could be me, I could be free; I could look oogle Michael shamelessly!

Nine Muses Mural

Nine Muses Mural courtesy basementrejects.com

I seem to remember hearing something about the mural of the nine muses being painted on a wall in Venice, at the time the movie was released. Then again, having just discovered pot, I would trust my memory. 😀 Lastly, while the song Whenever You’re Away From Me, was not part of the The Great American Songbook – a canon of the most important and influential American popular songs and jazz standards from the early 20th century – it did open another door for me.

So, something made me think of this movie last week, so I searched “xanadu online free,” found a website in some Asian country, and watched it.

The opening credit made the hair on my arms stand up with eager nostalgia and anticipation. By the time “Whenever You’re Away From Me” scene was showing I was balling my eyes out at the thoughts of my innocence and desires to be loved and lack of securing that over 54 years of loneliness. Don’t get me wrong. I have loved and been loved to my satisfaction at least twice in my life; I just never learned to hold on to it.

The latter portions of the movie were fun, but just like the original, held less of my attention. Still, I feel fortunate to have been able to see this movie again.