Thursday, August 8th, 2013


The town in question that has this dubious title is Montreal, and the story (loosely based on real life) starts in 1976 when it was considered one of the world’s top nightclub destinations.  The aging star with the big ego is Bastien Lavallée, a TV show host and radio DJ whose top dance music shows make him a valuable asset to dubious record producers like Giles who owns the infamous Starlight Disco. Bastien has a voracious appetite for the good life and is easily bribed with fast cars, drugs and pretty women in return for helping promote Giles latest protege.
There is of course a Mrs Lavallée at home with their daughter but they rarely see the man who had started out wanting to be a serious actor, now that he gets addicted to the trappings of his fame.  Even at the beginning of the story there is a clumsy hint that a fall is ahead, as we meet Mimi a former protege of Giles who is now on welfare are her singing career plummeted as fast as it had risen.

One of the aspiring young couples that want to be chosen by Bastien to dance on his TV Show includes Tino a young closeted gay Italian/Canadian.  He haunts the separate gay dance floor that the Starlight has, but its Jonathan the outrageously camp gay co-host of Bastian’s TV Show that suggests what Tino wants can be found under The Bridge a notorious cruising area for gay men.  The fact that he ends up with Jonathan is so implausible and in fact the whole subject of his homosexuality is, like so many of the plot strands of this movie, clumsily contrived and completely unconvincing.  

When all of their rather uninteresting and shallow lives start to falter its because none of these characters could/would ever look beyond today. It’s not just their lives but the whole disco era that will change over the next few years. And against a climate of political uncertainty when the Separatists fought and lost their first Referendum, large businesses evacuated to Toronto, and by 1981 Montreal, after having experienced a decade of economic decline, ceased to be Canada’s biggest and most successful city.
The music is the only thing that redeems itself in this rather vapid and uninteresting movie that is annoyingly bad.  When Tino’s frustrated mother tragically takes the easy way out, I actually started to envy her.  Even when life was good for these people, no-one ever seemed to be enjoying themselves, let alone smile. Maybe is a cultural thing. Either way with such intensely miserable existences, I would have called this movie Flunkytown.
Easy one to miss.  If you really have an urge to relive this era, then just play the original version of Tina Charles ‘I Love To Love’ real loud instead.


Posted by queerguru  at  15:12


Genres:  drama

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