Saturday, 24 September 2011

Limelight (2011)

Dir: Billy Corben (Square Grouper, Cocaine Cowboys)
Documentary on New York Nightclub owner Peter Gatien
USA, 2011

Reason to see: I'm very interested in club culture

I'm so excited to see that Limelight is opening here in Toronto, I missed it at Hot Docs earlier in the year and I knew I wanted to see it as it had a club-connection. I loved the Toronto club Limelight and have many fond memories of it, and even though there is no connection noted to the Limelight of the film in New York, there still is a connection to that particular time and energy of the late 80's to mid 90's club culture.

The focus of the documentary Limelight is on Peter Gatien, who owned many nightclub in New York through the 80's to mid 90's including Limelight, The Palladium, Club USA and Tunnel, and a scandalous court case that put him in the limelight himself. Through interviews with Peter Gatien himself to club kids of the time, journalists, experts and even several criminals we see the rise of his empire from starting off in Cornwall (Ontario!) to the biggest leagues out there: New York. Getting to hear the build up of his career and empire is inspiring but it's equally intriguing to hear about the court case. I loved how even though the film has a very specific point of view and message, it still manages to create a balanced and consistent tone as it unveils the story surrounding the trial. I also loved the wide array of people they talked to about the trial and crimes, especially intriguing is to hear from the perspectives of people who were involved in crime at that time. Truly unique insight and points of view, that's for sure.

I really enjoyed Limelight for many reasons, I loved the nostalgia factor of the club culture, I appreciated how it showcased the entrepreneurial spirit and business savvy of Peter Gatien, and because I didn't know the case at all it also plays extremely well dramatically building & revealing the story. I'd strongly recommend checking in out, especially if you have in interest in real life drama, diving deep into crime cases or even if you simply remember fondly the fun times of clubbing in the 90's.

Limelight opens in Toronto on September 23, 2011 at the AMC Yonge & Dundas

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd highly recommend to documentaries fans and anyone interested in club culture or biographies

Also see: All 2011 Films Reviewed and All Film Reviews

© Shannon Ridler, 2011


simoncolumb said...

no references to the film on the same name by Chaplin?

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

Ah, no - totally different on many fronts!

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