Director Matt Tyrnauer
United States / 98 min. / 2017 / English (VOSE)
The rise and demise of the defining temple of the disco era. Half self-tribute by the surviving founder and workers of the Manhattan club, half black chronicle on the downfall of their earthly paradise.
The Shangri-La of hedonism, the epitome of seeing and being seen, the Kilometer Zero of celebrity culture, a “social experiment”… All that and more was the disco that two law students, Steven Rubell and Ian Schrager, set up in 1977 on West 54th Street in Manhattan. With a heart stopping audio-visual archive (Grace Jones, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Michael Jackson, Truman Capote, Sylvester Stallone, etc.) and interviews with the club’s staff and the surviving co-founder, Schrager, the first part of the film is a whopping story of success, delusions of grandeur and sexual freedom (truncated by the appearance of AIDS and the conservatism of the Reagan era). In the second part, Schrager tells his version of events (tax evasion and drug dealing) that would land them in jail and later to reinvent themselves in a world that did not resemble anything they had built. Pop mythology of the first order, reviewing an era of opulence during a few years with no notion of tomorrow.