Sunday, 10 October 2010

Retro Review: 54

I am officially in love with the 70s. I was originally an 80s babe as that was the era of my teens but over the last year I have become more interested in the 60s and 70s. The 70s were defined by disco, flares, sequined dresses, glittery make up and lip gloss. However nothing defined this decade more than Studio 54 which was the nightclub to be seen in and at its peak was the most well known nightclub in the world. The stories about the place were legendary such as Bianca Jagger riding into the place on a white horse, pounds of cocaine being bandied about and people having sex in full display. Studio 54 was opened by the flamboyant Steven Rubell and his silent partner Ian Schrager in 1977 and has become a huge icon in pop culture. So it was no surprise when Hollywood made a movie about the decadent disco which was released in 1998.
54 is told from the point of view of Shane O'Shea played by Ryan Phillippe, a pretty boy who hails from New Jersey. Bored of his mundane life in Jersey City, he spends many a moment gazing across the bridge that separates New Jersey from New York, dreaming of a better and more glamorous life. Enter Studio 54 which Shane sees as a platform to his dreams. After heading down to Manhattan one night he manages to get into the club where he catches the eye of the owner, Steve Rubell played by Mike Myers. He lands a job as a busboy and quickly makes friends with the other staff members including Greg played by Breckin Meyer and his wife, Anita played by Salma Hayek who aspires to be a singer. Shane is infatuated by fellow Jersey girl, Julie Black who is a glamorous actress played by Neve Campbell who frequents the nightclub on a regular basis and is often seen in the newspapers. A brief relationship with music executive Billie Auster played by Sela Ward leads to a promotion to bartender which means gold to Shane. Studio 54 bartenders are famous and this means lots of photo shoots for glossy magazines so he decides to capitalise on it in an attempt to catch the eye of Julie.
54 is not the greatest film in the world and the film does feel like it has been rushed but the cinematography is great and the film captures the whole disco fever of that era. I always thought Ryan Phillippe was under rated and he is great in this film and there are strong performances by Neve Campbell and Salma Hayek also Mike Myers is awesomely creepy as Steve Rubell. The soundtrack is amazing with tracks like Boss from Diana Ross, Relight my Fire by Dan Hartman, Knock on Wood by Mary Griffin, Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Station and Wishing on a Star by Rolls Royce. These songs demonstrate an era that was fun, funky, free, glam and with lots of energy. However, it is the vibrant wardrobe that finally nails it, the ladies are seen in halter neck dresses, one shoulder jersey tops, satin drain pipe trousers, sequined boob tubes, fringe dresses and cowboy hats. Studio 54 may have closed its doors on disco in 1981 and forever in 1998 but it has left an everlasting impact on the entertainment industry.

Check out this video which is a homage to the famous nightclub.

1 cool comments:

That's Not My Age said...

Oh I do like that film, it's a bit cheesy but hey nothing wrong with that - and I never realised Salma Hayek was in it?? Great you tube clip.