Documentary Feature | USA | 2008 | 81 mins. | Not Rated
Director Jon Hart & Matthew Kaufman
2008 Toronto International Film Festival Selection
American Swing chronicles the rise and fall of 1970’s New York City nightclub Plato’s Retreat. It was 1977 and New York was scorched by stifling heat waves; Studio 54 was the exclusive hot club, and the notorious sex club Plato’s Retreat was in full swing. Plato’s Retreat evolved from a desire to have straight sex out in the open, a privilege flaunted by the city’s gay clubs. Filmmakers Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart have unearthed footage of a lost era chock full of chest hair, gold medallions, platform shoes and a multitude of penis and bra sizes. The city government headed by Mayor Koch of NYC was so repulsed by went on inside Plato’s retreat that they tried to pass ordinances to close it. As the AIDS epidemic hit, gay bathhouses were shut down, and pressure was put on Plato’s to shut down; which was closed on New Year’s Eve 1985.
American Swing is sexy, sleazy, sweaty… it is the seventies, baby… celebrating the sexual revolution birthed in the 1960s.