American Swing (2008)
American Swing is a 2008 documentary film directed by Jon Hart and Mathew Kaufman. The film explores the rise and fall of the notorious New York City swingers club, Plato's Retreat, which was in operation from 1977 to 1985. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of the film American Swing that make it a fascinating and captivating watch.
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The Rise of Plato's Retreat
The film American Swing explores the rise of Plato's Retreat, which was founded in 1977 by Larry Levenson. The club quickly gained notoriety for its wild and uninhibited parties, which attracted a diverse crowd of people from all walks of life. The film provides an in-depth look at the club's inner workings and showcases the decadent lifestyle of its patrons.
The Fall of Plato's Retreat
American Swing also delves into the downfall of Plato's Retreat. The club faced several challenges, including raids by law enforcement, protests by conservative groups, and negative media attention. The film explores how these challenges ultimately led to the closure of the club in 1985.
The Impact of Plato's Retreat
The documentary also explores the impact that Plato's Retreat had on the sexual revolution of the 1970s and 1980s. The club was a symbol of sexual liberation and served as a place where people could explore their sexuality in a safe and consensual environment. The film showcases how the club challenged societal norms and paved the way for the acceptance of alternative sexual lifestyles.
Interviews with Key Players
One of the strengths of American Swing is its extensive use of interviews with key players involved in the story. The documentary features interviews with Larry Levenson, the founder of Plato's Retreat, as well as several of the club's former patrons and employees. These interviews provide a first-hand account of the club's history and shed light on the motivations and experiences of those involved.
Critique of Society
In addition to its exploration of Plato's Retreat, American Swing is also a critique of American society and its attitudes towards sexuality. The film showcases how the sexual revolution of the 1970s was met with backlash and how conservative groups and the media worked to suppress alternative sexual lifestyles.
Cinematography and Editing
The documentary's cinematography and editing are also noteworthy. The film makes use of vintage footage from the 1970s and 1980s, which helps to immerse the viewer in the era. The editing is also well-done, seamlessly blending interviews with archival footage to create a compelling narrative.
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In conclusion, American Swing is a fascinating and insightful documentary that explores the rise and fall of Plato's Retreat and its impact on American society. The film provides a detailed look at the inner workings of the club and features interviews with key players involved in the story. It also serves as a critique of American society's attitudes towards sexuality and showcases the challenges faced by those who sought to challenge societal norms. If you're interested in exploring the history of the sexual revolution of the 1970s and 1980s, American Swing is a must-watch.