There’s a memorable moment in Studio 54, Matt Tyrnauer’s thrilling and definitive documentary about the fabled disco haven, in which the camera glides through the gilded lobby of the old theater the club was built in, approaching the doors, the beat throb-throb-throbbing in the muted distance. The camera then pushes through the doors and onto the dance floor […], and for a moment we feel like we’re melting into the elation of the writhing horde.
For those of us who never went (and probably couldn’t have gotten in if we tried), Studio 54 lets you taste a bit of the ecstasy. Tyrnauer, the director of Valentino: The Last Emperor and Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, is a next-generation classicist who, in this movie, assembles photographs and amateur film footage with kaleidoscopic dexterity. The film shows you the club from every angle, and seems to be gawking at every patron. It puts us right inside. […] The club was famously created by two men, Steve Rubell (who died, in 1989, of complications resulting from AIDS) and Ian Schrager, and Tyrnauer has gotten Schrager, for the first time since the place closed down, to tell its story from his chastened but still rather astonished point of view.
Studio 54 imprints us with an indelible portrait of the nightclub that became the apotheosis of the disco era: the freedom, the excess, the aristocracy, the pulsating pop glory.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
The Sept. 24th screening in Riviera is held with our partner Viinilinna. Please note that festival passes and gift vouchers are not valid for this screening.