While watching Eliza Hittman’s melancholy new film Beach Rats, it was strangely reminded of the 1977 Saturday Night Fever.
Both are character studies in the small social circles of Brooklyn-based, conflict-causing, self-destructing male heroes, exaggerated by lower middle classes. However, the contrasts between the periods depicted and the films are apparent. In John Badham’s work, there is a sense of gratification in the unfamiliar space of Bee Gees anthems, and the visual appearance of a fiery, almost religiously disco dance dance resembling a stained glass window jumping on a rocking rectangular dance floor. Stories and characters can be sad and sad; but they live in widescreen energy shots, cloudy orange-red light, and anxious and carefree choreographers.