1976. Montreal. Eight people who wanted to see and be seen at the trendiest disco will be juggling fame and anonymity until they will be forced to make sober choices in an era when excess was the norm, and when disco was king.
Set in Montreal during the disco phenomenon some 35 years ago, Funkytown follows the life of a group of colorful characters. We follow their lives and tribulations as everyone converges on a regular basis at Montreal's hot disco spot: Starlight. Along the way, several events take place that change these characters' lives. As these characters' lives unfold, the Parti Québécois takes power changing the cultural landscape in Quebec while the disco craze slowly fades. While we keep up with these various characters - it is Bastien who is a central part of this story. His drug addiction, dreams to become an actor and womanizing - make him the "bigger than life" typical 70s character around which the whole story revolves. Written by
Some filming was actually done at the real location of The Lime Light, 1258 Stanley Street, which is now the dance club "La Boom" and the strip club "Chez Parée". Director Daniel Roby told the Montreal Mirror: "We were so lucky because we got to shoot the club scenes in the actual location where the Limelight was and recreate a real disco club on the dance-floor where all that history actually happened." See more »
During a scene set in 1976, the owners of the Starlight disco compare their club to New York's Studio 54, which did not actually open until 1977. See more »
I imagine the makers of Funkytown wanted to tell the story of the decline of Quebec in the wake of separatism during the late 1970s in a film that was a cross between American Graffiti and Studio 54. However, what they ended up with was a film that was too long (there was enough plot to feed a television series for an entire season!), had too many story lines, undeveloped stereotypical characters, and was poorly written.
On top of this, the film had numerous serious historical errors that the writer could have checked on wikipedia! The panoramic views of New York and Toronto show skylines that don't match the eras; White parties didn't exist until the mid 1980s; Studio 54 wasn't open until 1977 despite references to it in the movie during 1976; Many songs are played in the wrong years - for example Donna Summer's Bad GIrls is played in 1976; plus there are many things that are pushed into the 70s that are arguably not correct, from AIDS symptoms to New Wave.
Its too bad because at the heart of this mess of a film there is actually a good idea for a Mad Men type television series that follows various characters through late 1970s Quebec.
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