The Last Days of Disco

I went out to the office to prepare for a day of tests. I took a break for lunch and had a turkey burger. I went into the record store and bought a used copy of Jason Isbell’s “Something More Than Free” CD. I went back to lecture to my evening class. I was relieved that I had a payday on Wednesday, which was enough for my rent and my Super Bowl tickets. I didn’t really want to show up for class. I really wanted to go out and see “The Martian.” The Flashback Feature of the night was “Army of Darkness,” which I didn’t want to see again. I returned home to watch “The Last Days of Disco.” The collection of songs on the collection was impressive in the sense that it brought back the disco era. It seemed that the disco was spinning records that were old, since they were from before September 1980, which was the setting. Would they really be playing songs like “More, More, More” in 1980? You have to notice the absence of the Bee Gees and Donna Summer. There was no mention that Ronald Reagan was going to take over. Chloe Sevigny seemed like she was going to be a very big star based on her performances movies like “Boys Don’t Cry.” I haven’t seen her in anything in the last few years. The humor was only mildly funny and not funny at all at times. The most amusing bit of conversation was about “Lady and the Tramp.” I thought about other films that were not hilarious, like “Chilly Scenes of Winter” and “Choose Me.” When I saw that the two main characters worked at a publishing house, I knew their jobs would be in jeopardy by the end of the film. There was no future in it, especially since they would have to wait four years for a promotion. I always thought that yuppies were young urban professionals rather than young upwardly mobile professionals, and I didn’t hear the term in 1980. The writer, producer, and director was Whit Stillman, who was responsible for “Metropolitan” in 1990. I saw that one but now have only the vaguest memory of it. “The Last Days of Disco” struck me as a confident film, although I don’t know if the observations in it were worthwhile. I thought the characters talked as if they were reading from a script, and I was reminded of “The Big Chill.” At one point we see a riot during a disco demolition event at a Chicago White Sox doubleheader. That happened in 1979. The end of the disco era was either the beginning of the punk era or the conservative Reagan era. People got into dumb trends in the 1970s, as they did in the 1950s, as they continue to do today. This movie is set in a transition period, although from the look of it, I couldn’t tell that it was supposed to be 1980. I saw a typewriter and heard the Blondie music, which were the clues. I don’t know what Walt Stillman has done since “The Last Days of Disco.” He hasn’t made the mark on movies that someone like Noah Baumbach has. If Stillman had worked with Chloe Sevigny, he could have had some success, I think. I didn’t like the shots of the people dancing to “Love Train.”  It felt like it was just something in a movie.  Some of the people who died on October 2 include Rock Hudson (1985), Madeleine Carroll (1987), Gene Autry (1998), Nipsey Russell (2005), and August Wilson (2005). Today is a birthday for Sting (64), Annie Leibowitz (66), and Don McLean (70). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for October 2, “Soul Train” began in syndication in 1971. In 1992, “The Mighty Ducks” was released. In 2005, Nipsey Russel died at age 87.

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