March 05, 2009 02:22am
Plato's Retreat Documentary
Source: Donna Daniels Public Relations, LLC
by: Company Press Release
Magnolia Pictures Presents: American Swing, a documentary about the 1970s swing sex club ''Plato's Retreat'', directed by Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart, Featuring Annie Sprinkle, AL Goldstein, Dan Dorfman, Donna Ferrato, Betty Dodson, Helen Gurley Brown, Howard Smith, Melvin Van Peebles and Ed Koch among others. Premiered at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival.
The year was 1977 and New York City burned. As the metropolis hurtled into bankruptcy, the city's nightlife hit unprecedented heights. In midtown, the ultra-exclusive Studio 54 was a cocaine-fueled celebrity playhouse. Downtown, at the spartan CBGB's, punk rockers set out to destroy everything Pop. Meanwhile, in the basement of the prestigious Ansonia building on the conservative Upper West Side, Plato's Retreat opened its doors to ordinary couples who came to dance, to swim, and...to swap. It was the start of a revolution.
The brainchild of former wholesale meat purveyor Larry Levenson, Plato's Retreat quickly emerged as the epicenter of public sex for the ''me'' generation. Previously, swinging was mostly an underground activity, engaged in primarily by the attractive and well-to-do. But Plato's welcomed anyone and everyone.
For a mere $35, couples checked their judgments and pedigrees at the door at this clothing-optioned Disneyland. Debutantes got it on next to bus drivers, as movie stars gave secretaries the ''starlet treatment''. For Levenson and others, Plato's was utopia. For some, it is a time capsule that they are eager to forget. Utilizing exclusive interviews with former patrons, employees, and family members, intercut with riveting, never-before-seen archival materials, American Swing brings this epicenter of sex and excess to the big screen for the first time.
American Swing Opens in New York On March 27TH At the Quad Cinema. 34 W. 13th St. http://www.quadcinema.com/ Closing night selection of the Stranger Than Fiction Film Series at the IFC Center on March 17th. 323 6th Ave. http://www.ifccenter.com/