Friday, March 15

Film Inspiration: The Last Days of Disco

Title: The Last Days of Disco
Released: 1998
Director: Whit Stillman
Starring: Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale.

A comedy-drama, set in the early 80's, loosely based on Stillman's experiences in various nightclubs in Manhattan, including Studio 54. This is the third instalment of Whitman's "Doomed-Bourgeois-In-Love" series, which includes Manhattan and Barcelona.

There are a few films that I have solely watched based on seeing stills spring up on the internet, this is one of them (other examples include most Sofia Coppola films, Savages, Party Girl and Jeux D'enfants). 

Stillman's writing/film style is very much 'people sitting around discussing', there's lot of lengthy discussions about class and society (including one of my favourite quotes, about Lady and The Tramp), and pithy one-liners. There's definitely a lot of time to appreciate the sets and costume design, and as you can imagine with a film based on the disco scene there are some really interesting costumes.

I think my favourite thing about this film is the obvious contrasts between day and night; By day the characters are determined 'yuppies' wearing simple workwear in neutral colours, whilst working in grey high-rise buildings. At night they transform into a social butterflies to disco, with glitter, sequins and form fitting clothing. 

(click through for a little more)

"Yuppie stands for 'young upwardly mobile professional. 'Nightclub flunkie' is not a professional category. I wish we were yuppies. Young, upwardly mobile, professional. Those are good things, not bad things."

"Did people ever really dance in bars? I thought that was a myth."

"Maybe in physical terms I'm a little cuter than you, but you should be much more popular than I am."



  1. This has totally passed me by, don't know how I missed it. I want to watch now, wonder if I can find on sky?


    1. There has to be some sort of alert that you can set on a TV to let you know when a specific thing is going to be on TV, if not that's one for Dragon's Den! I only knew about it because I follow the Chloe Sevigny tag on Tumblr, I think most of Whit Stillman's films are quite low-key.

  2. i've never even heard of this but i'm intrigued now!

    1. I hadn't head of it before a couple of years ago, I suppose that's the beauty of the internet! Although I think most of Whit Stillman's films go under the radar. Have just looked on Amazon and they have copies of the DVD, from about £7.


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