I’m in no way saying you should go out and rent Staying Alive, but I have to admit I just realized it has some of the best mise-en-scene I’ve seen in a film. I’m serious! I’m not talking about the sets for the embarrassing dance musicals that Tony, the hero of Saturday Night Fever, played by John Travolta, performs in either. (Especially the one in the end that’s supposed to be hell. Eeek!) I’m talking about the simple shots of New York. There’s a scene where Tony is walking on the Brooklyn Bridge at night in his classic, white disco suit with his gray boots. He’s sad, lonely, and pensive. The frame follows his legs, which contrast with the dark bridge, as a beautiful song from the Bee Gees* plays. It’s really sort of stunning.
Perhaps I’m giving the film more credit than it deserves, especially since Sylvester Stallone directed it, but if you’re in the mood for harmless fun, watch it! Trust me, even the most pretentious film snob will find Tony’s quest for the perfect dance role somewhat engaging. How can you not smile and/or crack up at the big dance sequence at the end?
*(Speaking of sexy music reminiscent of the Bee Gees, Sebastien Tellier is playing at the Music Box December 3. If any of my dear friends are wondering what to get me for my birthday, I’d sure like to go! I’m nice. I deserve it! Check out his outrageously sexy, new video. I love him.)