login | register

Boogie Nights

The life of a dreamer, the days of a business, and the nights in between. 

Year: 1997 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson 
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzmán  
An image from Boogie Nights

Back on our screen is the film that acted as a calling card for Paul Thomas Anderson: after an interesting and underseen debut, it was Boogie Nights that instantly rocketed him to ‘indie darling’ status. The spectres of Scorsese and Robert Altman hang over this American epic, a tale of broken lives in an industry on the brink of seismic change – but it runs entirely on its own energy, and the ingenious undercutting comedy of taking porn stars this seriously.

A young Marky Mark found his feet here (despite later regretting the film and – allegedly – asking God for forgiveness) as fresh-faced Eddie Adams, a humble nightclub busboy whose star potential is spotted in a single glance by leading porn director Jack Horner (Reynolds). His emergence as a bright light of the industry is rapid, and through Eddie’s eyes we meet a host of ambitious and tragic players: moonlighting student Rollergirl (Heather Graham); Buck (Don Cheadle), harbouring dreams of opening a hi-fi store; and poor Scotty (Philip Seymour Hoffman) with his unrequited crush on Eddie.

Of course, a rise that fast cannot last forever. While jealousy and drugs are ruining people, the development of cheap hand-held video cameras threatens the business model of the whole industry (not a problem for us at Warwick Student Cinema, with our 35mm prints!). But Boogie Nights is a joy to watch as it breathlessly canters through its 150+ minutes to non-stop disco bangers, and works as a surprisingly tender portrait. There’s something of last term’s The Iron Claw in its commitment to true talent in a world of façades, too. We never see any of the crummy adult theatres that hosted these stars’ work; instead, porn is given a glow of nobility.

Max King

More Information | Back to Previous Schedule | This Season  |  BBFC Classification Guidelines

Screenings of this film:

1997/1998 Summer Term (35mm)
1997/1998 Summer Term (35mm)
2023/2024 Summer Term (35mm)
2023/2024 Summer Term (35mm)