With the release this past May of Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, it gave me a chance to be nostalgic about one of my favorite movies of all time, Electric Dreams. When this movie came out in 1984 I was in high school. I heard music from the movie on my favorite radio station, KYYX – the Wave, which played new wave music.
I eagerly awaited the movie coming to SeaTac Mall theaters. I waited and waited, and waited. It never came to my local theater. After a while this movie came out on VHS. I was lucky that my local library had a copy. Every time I saw it on the shelf I checked it out. I saw this movie so many times I could practically quote the entire movie line by line. As a joke my dad and I would call each other “Moles”. (He watched it almost as many times as I did, just from me playing it in the living room.)
This movie is funny, witty, charming, delightful, and filled with great music. The main characters are Miles (Lenny von Dohlen) and Madeline (Virginia Madsen). Lenny went on to play various diverse roles, including one of the bad guys in Home Alone 3, but I was delightfully surprised to see him in an episode of Red Dwarf, even though he played a bad cop. Virginia has been in many movies since Electric Dreams. I actually had a copy of Slam Dance, but I think an old roommate stole it. There are a lot of other great celebrities in this movie. I love Ruth Westheimer as herself on the radio giving advice. Bud Cort is wonderful as the computer. You might know him best from Harold and Maude.
At the heart of this movie is the music. It has several sweet love songs from Culture Club. There are peppy pop songs that make you want to get up and dance as well as classical music. The juxtaposition of electronic music and classical music comes together beautifully. The song to get the most air play was of course “Together in Electric Dreams” by Giorgio Moroder (thus the Daft Punk connection) and Philip Oakey (of the Human League). This movie to me is perfection.
The movie is a bit dated since computer technology has grown so fast. But I still would recommend seeing it if you can. If you were as crazy about this movie as I was, you may also have paid the $80 to get this movie on VHS. If not, then the only copies available are on PAL DVD, VHS, or laser disc. I think I have given up hope that they will put this movie out on a US version DVD.
If you loved this movie and have not discovered Daft Punk, then check out the collaborator podcast here:
It has interviews with the collaborators of Random Access Memories; Georgio Moroder and Paul Williams to name a few. If you like Daft Punk and have never heard of Electric Dreams, it’s worth checking out if you can find a copy or watch snippets on YouTube. Giorgio Moroder even has a cameo in it as a DJ.
Who are you Together with in your Electric Dreams?