VIFF 2018: Studio 54


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      Filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer has paved a fascinating documentary trail, with thoughtful profiles of the designer Valentino, urban-planning critic Jane Jacobs, and, most recently, a genial Beverly Hills pimp in Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood.

      Here, he takes on familiar material—the rise and fall of New York City’s most glittering disco palace, and of its flamboyant figurehead, Steve Rubell—and finds new twists to the story. These come mainly through the newfound willingness of Ian Schrager, Rubell’s surviving and more recalcitrant partner, to cough up the good stuff. The footage is great, and this well-constructed doc makes the case that the club owners’ foolishness with drugs, money, and taxes were matched by cultural homophobia and autocratic vendettas.