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Studio 54

USA, English, 98 mins

  • Director: Matt Tyrnauer
  • Producer: John Battsek; Corey Reeser

CGiii Comment

Despite the 'legend' it has now become, Studio 54 only lasted 33 [iconic] months!

This is the quintessential tale of high-and-flying followed by the [inevitable] crash-and-burn. It has taken Ian Schrager almost 40 years to tell the 'true-ish' story of the Studio...because, it still stings to talk about it. But, regardless of the glaring omissions [of guilt and implications] and the awkward dodging the self-incriminating questions...Matt Tyrnauer has managed to paint a fairly detailed picture of immature, gloated-and-bloated, irresponsible and [truly] fabulous hedonism!

But...when this kind of money-making, in-the-limelight success goes to the head [as it did]...there are those who will bend-over-backwards to make sure those walls come tumbling down...a disgruntled former employee and the IRS were the Studio's wrecking ball - resulting in fairly lenient prison terms for both the founding fathers: Schrager and Rubell - no doubt, brought about by their rather notorious and effective lawyer: Roy Cohn. There is some startling footage of this self-loathing, disgustingly homophobic, closeted homosexual...those who know nothing of Cohn should watch Angels in America to get a feel for this vile and contemptuous man...who, like Rubell, also succumbed to AIDS.

Without a shadow of doubt, this film could have focused on the court case and the realtionship the men had with Cohn...but, Mr Tyrnauer concentrates upon the relationship between Schrager and Rubell, the archetypal BFFs...inseparable from their late teens, through all the highs and lows, until Rubell's death in 1989. As to the extent and depth of their relationship, nothing is said...as stated before, this is a true-sih account. Schrager keeps his [personal] cards [very] close to his chest.

Studio 54 is a fascinating account, a fantastically curated archive of the time...aided and abetted by a [at times, bravura] contemporary commentary. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and when used to tell an incredible story such as this...it certainly makes an impact.

Stunning times...a stunning film.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

Studio 54 was the epicenter of 70s hedonism--a place that not only redefined the nightclub, but also came to symbolize an entire era. Its co-owners, Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two friends from Brooklyn, seemed to come out of nowhere to suddenly preside over a new kind of New York society. Now, 39 years after the velvet rope was first slung across the club's hallowed threshold, a feature documentary tells the real story behind the greatest club of all time.

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