ACMI and the Italian Institute of Culture Melbourne present
Disco Ruin - 40 anni di club culture italiana
A definitive survey of Italian club culture, charting the rise of iconic clubs, producers, DJs, styles and genres over four propulsive decades.
Lisa Bosi and Francesca Zerbetto survey forty years of Italian club culture, charting the rise and fall of iconic clubs, producers, DJs, styles and genres over four propulsive decades. Taking its starting point in the 1960s – the decade that launched a more liberated (and liberating) style of collective dancing as an essential rite of passage – Disco Ruin namechecks Rome's Piper club, opened in 1965, as "the Big Bang" of a club circuit that would expand to Torino's own Piper in 1966, Club Altro Mondo in Rimini in 1967 and Space Electronic in Florence, in 1969.
U.S. style disco caused a sensation in the 1970s, with entrepreneurs such as Giancarlo Tirotti luring a roster of high profile American DJs to perform seven nights a week at his famed Baia degli Angeli (Bay of Angels) club in Gabbice Mare on Italy's Adriatic Coast. The eras of disco, funk, Radio Milano 101, the Riviera Romagnola, gender fluidity and performative excess of the '80s – cue Milano's Plastic club and Bologna's Kinki – the Torino 'underground', 'Italo-disco', House, Techno, Hip Hop, Ibiza, culminating in the rave culture of the '90s; all are recounted through the key personalities, club owners, art directors and graphic designers, DJs and producers that set the scene, from Daniele Baldelli, Claudio 'Cocco' Coccoluto and Ralf, to Alex Neri and Leo Mas among many, many others.
Co-directors Zerbetto and (filmmaker/architect) Bosi also approach their subject from an architectural and design point of view, including interviews with architects Ugo La Pietra and Pietro Derossi, among others, who describe some of the design innovations of landmark clubs that fostered a thriving club scene which expressed itself through performance, culture, art, trends, music, style, community and fashion. While some of these legendary 'astronavi' ('spaceships') survive – the 'crystal pyramid' of Riccione's Cocorico` reopened in November 2021, for example – Bosi sees in the abandoned structures of other mythic clubs such as Milan's Woodpecker and Turin's Ultimo Impero, a modern version of "Pompei, ruins of a past civilisation that no longer exists".
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Occasional strobe effect, drug references, partial nudity, sexual references
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