This is a great document about an attitude towards life. An attitude that won't let you keep your head down. An attitude of living as it's really the only thing that one can do. This is the story of the possibilities that life offers for the ones who keep their eyes and ears open, who don't mind other people and who definitely don't mind having a good time. It felt good watching this as dancing is really the key.
Perfunctory talking heads doco about the coolest nightclub ever. I would love to have visited just to schmooze with Divine and Liza and hang out in the intensely gay, sexy atmosphere. I would have been turned away at the door... Exclusivity is frustrating, adds to club's charm. Doco is basically fine, laying out the story clearly but without any pizzaz to help it ascend. Ending is inevitable, yet haunting. Fuck AIDS.
Studio 54 has cemented its place in cultural history as its storied reputation has long outlived its actual incarnation. Unfortunately Tyrnauer's documentary is superficial at best and doesn't really shine any new light on said history, influence or legacy. That isn't to say the doc isn't entertaining...it often is. There just isn't much meat on the bone.
A dishonest look at a time of debauchery and excess. Studio 54 was a decadent playground of drugs and sex for the rich and famous, nothing more. The working class and street performers were there as playthings to give the atmosphere an exotic charge. The filmmakers bend over backwards to portray 54 as a forward thinking, liberating paradise, perhaps it was if you had money, fame and could get past the velvet rope.
Despite the unprecedented access to Ian Schrager, it seemed like a lot more was left unsaid. The documentary feels flat, failing to convey in an emotionally significant fashion, the true impact of Studio 54. The classic rise and fall structure makes for a somewhat tedious viewing. For a film about how much people like to be themselves, like to feel free, Studio 54 certainly feels anything but.