Richard Sanderson – Reality
Dreams are my reality
The only kind of real fantasy
Illuisons are a common thing
I try to live in dreams
The 80s were certainly years of great music, but also years of great movies, and often the two things went absolutely hand in hand, as we have seen several times.
Was the Flashdance film driven by Irene Cara’s hit Flashdance… What a Feeling or vice versa? Was Kenny Loggins’ Footloose driving the film with the same name, or the opposite? It is hard to say. A great movie certainly helped sell the song, like Top Gun helped Berlin’s Take My Breath Away, but it’s also true that a very strong song made you feel like seeing the movie.
In the early 1980s there was a strange case of unusual timing. A very famous case, however, that we will all surely remember. In December 1980, a French-made film was released, but it was only released in France. Of course there were plans and high hopes for a big cinema hit in other countries too, because the soundtrack consisted of songs in English, but the first release was limited to France.
It was an unprecedented success, and considering also the kind of story of the film, I would say that it was absolutely the gateway to adolescence for a new generation of French people. We are obviously talking about the film La Boum, directed by Claude Pinoteau. I realize it may still sound a bit vague, so let’s add that a few months later, in April 1981, the main single of the soundtrack of this film was released, anticipating the film release in other countries.
The film had had a resounding success in France, beyond all expectations, so the desire to see it began to grow in other countries. In April, when Richard Sanderson’s single Reality was released, accompanied by images from the film, millions of teenagers across Europe began planning to go see the film. And they had to wait a few more months, because the film was released in many countries after the summer of 1981, almost one year after the original release. In each country it had a different title, of course. In English-speaking countries the film was titled The Party.
Was it a great movie? I do not know; it was certainly a young and innovative film, which told a story that in 1980 was very modern. A couple (his name is François and her name is Françoise, just to simplify things) is on the verge of a crisis, and in fact relationships and betrayals are intertwined. Among them is a teenage daughter, Vic, who finds herself lost in a new school and with a family that is not very interested in her. In all this chaos she finds a fixed point in the figure of an extravagant but very modern grand-grandmother, the only fixed point in a rapidly changing universe.
And of course, among the many changes in Vic’s life, first love also arrives, certified by an iconic scene from the film: in the midst of the confusion of the party, the boy puts headphones on for Vic, and while the two dance to the slow rhythm of Reality, the first kiss takes place.
There are two protagonists in the success of this film and this song. As for the song, we definitely have to mention the great Romanian-born violinist and composer Vladimir Cosma. he is the father of the song, and he also had some discussions with the production in order to make the song the way he wanted.
There is a curious detail: there are actually two authors of the song, Vladimir Cosma and Jeff Jordan. But Jeff Jordan did not exist, he was simply an alias for Vladimir Cosma, who in addition to having conceived and created the song, also had the merit of finding the ideal interpreter, and entrusted it to a young English singer he had met a few months earlier, Richard Sanderson. Unknown before this song, absolutely gone or almost gone after this song, but incredibly famous all over the world for a few years.
Then, we all remember The Party also for its fantastic leading actress, the beautiful and talented Sophie Marceau. And here we understand that some destinies are indeed already written. Shooting for the film was to begin in a couple of weeks, but the lead role had not yet been cast. Sure, there were a dozen kids who had been cast, but the various roles hadn’t been assigned yet.
And just in the last few days Sophie, who was fourteen and taking her first photographs trying to pursue a modeling career, was sent to the casting. The production noted her juvenile beauty, her elegantly shy mannerisms, and thought that Vic should be just like that: the leading role was assigned to Sophie.
After decades, we today know that Sophie Marceau has been able to become a great actress, who has participated in absolute masterpieces such as Braveheart or The World is not Enough, with Pierce Brosnan in the role of James Bond.
In short: the release of Reality in April 1981 was truly the trigger that started adolescence for millions of teenagers throughout Europe. Teenagers who couldn’t wait to participate in one of the old classic house parties, and maybe fall in love with a boy like Mathieu or a girl like Vic, or if you prefer like Sophie. Life was all in a party, in the season when dreams could become reality.
Richard Sanderson on Wikipedia