Studio 54

Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

ANDY’S RAT­ING: ★★★★ In cin­e­mas on Friday

THIS en­gross­ing and bru­tally hon­est doc­u­men­tary takes us through the doors of the al­most myth­i­cal New York club which was the celebrity hang­out of the late 1970s. As di­rec­tor Matt Tyr­nauer re­veals, it’s me­te­oric rise was as much down to what went on out­side the club as what hap­pened on the dance­floor.

A fascis­tic door pol­icy en­sured there was al­ways a huge crowd on the street for lo­cal news crews to film. And the more ruth­less the bounc­ers be­came, the more peo­ple wanted to get in.

Ar­chive footage gives us a sense of the thump­ing sound sys­tem and re­veals the for­mer theatre’s lav­ish sets.

Tyr­nauer sits down with Ian Schrager, one of the club’s two founders. As his flam­boy­ant part­ner Steve Rubell died in 1989, it falls to this self-con­fessed “in­tro­vert” to talk us through the story.

What he re­veals feels more suited to a block­buster than a doc­u­men­tary. Turns out the club’s event­ful 33-month reign in­volved drugs, in­trigue, de­bauch­ery, fraud and even the mafia. Schrager, who you feel has waited decades to get all of this off his chest, coughs to the lot.

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