Watched Jun 10, 2012
NEIL EGAN’s review:
Limelight is a documentary about "the rise and fall of New York's greatest nightclub empire", or more specifically, about club owner Peter Gatien. Limelight was one of Gatien's four major NYC clubs, probably the most famous. Club USA, Palladium and Tunnel were the others and they're all featured in the movie as well.
It was very interesting to see how the clubbing revolution panned out in New York following the UK club scene which I very much grew up with.
I had the pleasure of attending The Tunnel and The Paladium in 1990 (seen De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, Latifah & A Tribe Called Quest there) and I would be the first to admit that I didn't really take it all in being a 18 year old. I just remember The Tunnel being very very dark and so many different caverns you could get lost.
The movie seems to be quite open and there are quite a few interviews with Michael Caruso (Lord Michael) which are fascinating. I didn't realise that he is now the manager of the Wu Tang Clan. There is also some rare footage of the clubs and interviews at the time.
It would have been nice to see more interviews from the other side against Gatien but I guess they wouldn't want to speak on camera.
The end of the movie is good aswell informing us what the people in the movie are doing today. It clearly shows the seedy side of nightclubs that you don't always care about or see when you are young and enjoying yourself.
Having been to New York on a number of occasions during the 90's and more recently, I have to say despite Mayor Giuliani's clamp down on the nightclub scene and personal vendetta against Gatien the place is a better place to visit now.
As for the nightclub scene I wouldn't really know about that now having reached a certain age but from what I read the young NYC crowd still talk about the Limelight, The Tunnel & Studio 54 as if there is nothing around as good today.