NCSF on Twitter   Subscribe to the NCSF RSS Feed   NCSF Blog

Press Release - Film Review _American Swing_

Film Title: American Swing
Release Dates: Released in theaters March 27 (NYC) and April 4, 2009 (LA);
DVD release is April 14, 2009
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Directed and Produced by: Mathew Kaufman and Jon Hart
Producers: Gretchen McGowan, Christian Hoagland
Executive Producers: Jason Kliot, Joana Vicente, Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban


Description:
From the distributor's website - "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 clubhouse. 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 the well-to-do. But Plato's welcomed anyone and everyone. For a mere $35, couples checked their judgments and pedigrees at the door of this clothing-optional Disneyland. Debutantes got it on next to bus drivers, as movie stars gave secretaries the 'starlet treatment.' For Levenson and others, Plato's was a 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 little-known epic of sex and excess to the big screen for the first time.

More info about AMERICAN SWING can be found at: http://www.magpictures.com/profile.aspx?id=8f5fe7fd-78fd-4231-8be6-19a8b3a72c91

NCSF Reviewer's Note:
Though the 1970s styles and sensibilities on display in "American Swing" inspire some easy mockery, overall the documentary takes a respectful and even-handed stance towards its subject and the individuals involved--and towards swinging on the whole.  In recounting their experiences at Plato's Retreat, many of those interviewed seem nearly reverential as they recall the sense of sexual freedom they discovered at the club, a good thirty years prior. Throughout, their interviews, combined with archival television clips featuring club founder Larry Levenson, the self-proclaimed "King of Swing," reinforce many of the common wisdoms of swinging even as practiced today:  that it's not for everyone and certainly not a means of fixing a troubled relationship, but can be a healthy way to sexually explore outside the constraints of monogamy.

What's generally remembered about Plato's Retreat is its celebrity aspect, but what is truly striking in the documentary is the seemingly ordinary nature of so many of its revelers, as if the sexual revolution had expanded to encompass that couple you know from down the street. While the documentary could have benefited from a bit more context of what was happening in the swing world on a national level, it's an important and engaging account of a particular time and place in the sexual freedom movement.


(Reviewed by Lisa Vandever,
NCSF Media Committee)


GIVE FEEDBACK ON "AMERICAN SWING" TO ITS DISTRIBUTOR:


Magnolia Pictures
49 West 27th Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001http://www.magpictures.com/contact.aspx


***

HOW TO WRITE VIEWER FEEDBACK
Viewer letters are an effective way to convey a positive image of alternate sexual practices such as SM, swinging or polyamory. Your feedback can help to correct negative social myths and misconceptions about these types of practices, and may influence the future decisions of programmers and producers about the entertainment they provide. These letters help achieve the advocacy goals of the
NCSF.

For more information and suggestions of points to include in your letter, see:

https://ncsfreedom.org/index.php?option=com_keyword&id=182


Please alert us to positive, negative or neutral stories about SM, swinging and polyamory at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Viewer letters are an effective way to convey a positive image of alternate sexual practices such as SM, swinging or polyamory. Your feedback can help to correct negative social myths and misconceptions about these types of practices, and may influence the future decisions of programmers and producers about the entertainment they provide. These letters help achieve the advocacy goals of the NCSF.

The National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is a national organization committed to creating a political, legal, and social environment in the United States that advances equal rights of consenting adults who practice forms of alternative sexual expression. NCSF is primarily focused on the rights of consenting adults in the SM-leather-fetish, swing, and polyamory communities, who often face discrimination because of their sexual expression.


National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
822 Guilford Avenue, Box 127
Baltimore, MD 21202-3707

410-539-4824
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

How You Can Help

    • Work to change antiquated laws
    • Work to change the social climate about sexual issues
    • Promote acceptance of safe, sane, and consensual alternative sexual practices among consenting adults
    • Oppose censorship of consensual sexual expression
    • Fight for freedom of academic expression about sexual issues
    • Help communities and individuals facing the threat of prosecution or legal action
    • Support the right of adults to express their sexuality, gender identity and orientation freely and openly without fear
    • Learn more about NCSF

Why You Should Care

Because your sexual expression...
  • Can result in discrimination, prosecution, and even violence against you
  • Can cause you to lose your children
  • Can cause you to lose your job or your income
  • Can lead you into a maze of antiquated laws and regulations you never even knew existed
  • Is arbitrarily criminalized by state and local authorities
  • Is used by the radical right to marginalize minority groups
  • Can result in the invasion of your privacy by the government, both within your own home or in educational, social and group environments