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.