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The Secret Disco Revolution Reviews

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Kent Turner

Much will be familiar, though this is the first time I've heard that the original discotheques came about in France under the Nazi Occupation.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 10, 2013
Marc Mohan

Disco scholars convincingly analyze lyrics and fashions as presenting bold expressions of sexuality and democratic hedonism, while Kastner doesn't skimp on the vintage clips, which range from unintentionally hilarious to surprisingly impressive.

Full Review Source: Oregonian | Original Score: B

June 28, 2013
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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The veil is lifted on this secret movement, one that everyone else thought was just about dancing and doing coke.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

June 27, 2013
Leba Hertz
San Francisco Chronicle
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"The Secret Disco Revolution," claims that the steady "four on the floor" beat was the reason for the liberation of gays, African Americans and women. And oddly, in a blend of humorous and dead serious storytelling, director James Kastner makes his case.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

June 27, 2013
Brian Orndorf

Actually quite valuable as a document of the era, interviewing those who stood (and boogied) on the front line, amassing an eye-opening tale of greed, lust, and burgeoning confidence.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: B

June 27, 2013
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
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There's silliness, too, but the facts turn the beat around.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

June 27, 2013
Ernest Hardy
Village Voice
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The film isn't as smart on the issue of race as it needs to be, and its feminist read of the music and scene feels forced in places, but as an entry-level conversation starter, it gets the job done.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

June 25, 2013

As you shimmy through the world of disco, you start to believe in its subversive nature.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 4/5

October 26, 2012
Glenn Dunks
Glenn Dunks

While there is plenty of interest in Kastner's documentary, anybody with more than a passing knowledge of the disco era will know most of it already.

Full Review Source: Glenn Dunks | Original Score: C-

September 5, 2013
Todd Jorgenson

It's a thorough but strained attempt to be provocative.

Full Review Source:

July 22, 2013
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express

Ripe subject, ridiculous movie.

Full Review Source: East Bay Express

July 4, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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"The Secret Disco Revolution" laughably fails to turn Barry White and Donna Summer into the Che Guevara and Emma Goldman of the dance floor.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2/4

June 28, 2013
David DeWitt
New York Times
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Faddish taste may be interesting for some, but for others it will devolve into the banal, as cultural history as well as entertainment.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

June 28, 2013
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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With the right group of friends and the right amount to drink it could be a rowdy good time. Without intoxicants, it's a gimmicky joke that drags on too long.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

June 27, 2013
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
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The movie feels like a flakey, off-the-cuff blog post that somehow transmogrified itself into a feature-length documentary.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

June 27, 2013
David Noh
Film Journal International

Despite an impressive array of important interviewees...again and again, throughout the film, the narrator and unfortunate directorial choices produce a vapidity akin to that which disco was accused of by its detractors.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

June 27, 2013
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Mostly, it's content to let major figures chitchat for a bit without digging any deeper into what they're saying or connecting it to anything else.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2/4

June 27, 2013
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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Less talk, more shake your booty.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/4

June 27, 2013
Michael Atkinson
Time Out New York
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Kastner's history is simplistic, his pacing is glacial and his film is laboriously constructed ...

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 1/5

June 25, 2013
Dean Essner
Slant Magazine

It bows fully to hedonism in lieu of all the scholarly theories on disco's lasting impact-a tidy but gutless way of tying together so many disparate arguments by such disparate people.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 24, 2013
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