More than music: 'The Secret Disco Revolution'

There will be no revelations for those who lived through the 1970s cultural coup d’état recalled in the cheeky, cheesy documentary titled “The Secret Disco Revolution.”

But in an era when Miley Cyrus’ short-shorts are deemed worthy of headlines, the film’s memories of New York’s famed Studio 54 as a place where “big stars” were having sex with busboys offer some, uh, perspective.

Canadian filmmaker Jamie Kastner’s background is in comedy, and his tongue spends plenty of time in his cheek as he examines the era when “young revolutionaries” — an alliance of urban dwellers, minorities and gay clubbers — “stole back the night” from the straight, male rock crowd that dominated the pop charts.

But “The Secret Disco Revolution” also invokes glowing, mirrored-ball memories of those hedonistic nights from the likes of disco icons such as Gloria Gaynor, Martha Wash, former Village Voice columnist Michael Musto and South Florida’s own Harry “K.C.” Casey.

And the social implications that continue to echo through contemporary culture are given their due: “It was not only a revolution in music,” says Henri Belolo, producer for the Village People. “It was a revolution in sex, a revolution in fashion.”

A review from David DeWitt in the New York Times last week stated: “The disco movement — especially its high times in the late ’70s — did have inherent, and changing, sociopolitical subtexts, whatever the artists’ and producers’ intentions. The interplay of all these elements of the film …  is intelligent, useful, creative and fittingly cheesy.”

IF YOU GO
“The Secret Disco Revolution” will screen 8 p.m. Tuesday, 6 p.m. Wednesday and noon Thursday at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Tickets cost $10, $8 for seniors and students. Call 954-525-3456 or go to FLIFF.com.

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