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TIFF Brody Diary Day Four: The Delightful 'Silver Linings Playbook,' Sexual and Stylized 'Passion' & 'Secret Disco'

Thompson on Hollywood By Meredith Brody | Thompson on Hollywood September 11, 2012 at 3:00PM

Today I choose David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” to be released in November, over Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” which does not yet have a distributor. (And over a number of other screenings which either don’t grab me, or don’t grab me enough, or which I’ve already seen elsewhere.) I must really want to see it...
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My options seem limited for the fourth slot of the day.  I slide into a mildly amusing documentary, “The Secret Disco Revolution,” which posits the theory that disco was not merely the hedonistic soundtrack to sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll, but a revolutionary movement promoting women, homosexuals, and blacks. Irresistibly delicious disco footage is interspersed with talking heads (including my erstwhile “Voice” colleagues Vince Aletti and the always-amusing Michael Musto) and the authors of such serious critical tomes as “Hot Stuff: Disco and the Remaking of American Culture,” Alice Echols (the two-volume Random House edition of “Remembrance of Things Past” clearly visible over her right shoulder), and “Turn the Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco,” Peter Shapiro.  Alas, director Jamie Kastner has also felt the need to shoot clumsy footage of a disco-attired gay guy, blonde women, and black man, as sort of a linking device, positing them as a seditionary cell. It’s nice when K.C. of K.C. and the Sunshine Band denies any political meaning in Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” preferring the message of his own “Shake your Booty.”

Secret Disco Revolution
'The Secret Disco Revolution'

After getting shut out of "Midnight's Children," my first this festival, I walk a few blocks to the venerable, excellent, and inexpensive Le Paradis bistro, where they have foie de veau on the menu, as well as bavette, coq au vin, and the delightfully-named blaff à la Martiniquaise, but I am caught by the veal sweetbreads in a port wine sauce – superb, and only $19, washed down with a house Riesling.  Le Paradis is the kind of neighborhood bistro that has not only disappeared from NY, LA, and SF, it’s also damned hard to find in Paris these days.

My hosts return home after seeing the same screening of “Midnight’s Children” I couldn’t get into (and attending the afterparty I was not invited to).  Score: one positive, two negative.

This article is related to: Festivals, Passion, Reviews, Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Noomi Rapace


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.