The Last Days of Disco
February 26, 2012
Directed by Whit Stillman, Appearing in Person. With Chloë Sevigny,
Kate Beckinsale, Chris Eigeman
US 1997, 35mm, color, 114 min
With his characteristically wry dispassion and clever attention to detail, Stillman introduces characters and actors from his established clique into the ultra-exclusive Manhattan disco club scene. As they struggle to maintain their inherited social status, the recent Ivy League grads pursue careers and relationships amid the remains of free love and radical politics in “the very early 1980s.” Rather than face their moral emptiness and looming decline, they indulge in endless pop culture analyzing, sexual politicking and elegant masquerading in a Studio 54 era wonderland. At times as malicious and superficial as Bret Easton Ellis characters, yet more ordinary, contradictory and embarrassingly human, Stillman’s broken proto-yuppies hold out for a strange kind of redemption in disco’s glamorous wake.