THE KING OF COMEDY
1982, New Regency, 109 min, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Way ahead of the curve in its dissection of celebrity culture, this unsettling film reteams director Martin Scorsese and star Robert De Niro to profile a New York outsider less violent but no less deranged than TAXI DRIVER’s Travis Bickle. Wannabe comedian Rupert Pupkin is so desperate for a chance to perform on a late-night TV show that he kidnaps its host (Jerry Lewis, a revelation here) with the help of a stalker (Sandra Bernhard).


NEW YORK, NEW YORK
1977, Park Circus/MGM, 163 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Director Martin Scorsese called it a “film noir musical.” A powerful and misunderstood tribute to musical forefathers Vincente Minnelli and Stanley Donen, it melds larger-than-life soundstage musicals and kitchen-sink realism. Scorsese mainstay Robert De Niro stars as Jimmy Doyle, a WWII veteran who returns home on V-Day and attempts to pick up Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) at a huge party. Her career as a singer is on the rise while his inventive saxophone style has not yet caught on. Often improvised, De Niro's performance comes off like a more musical cousin of Travis Bickle, while Minnelli soars in the final act. The breathtaking production design is by the legendary Boris Leven, art director of numerous noir films such as CRISS CROSS and SUDDEN FEAR as well as classic musicals WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs (EASY RIDER, FIVE EASY PIECES). Also features Mary Kay Place, Barry Primus and Dick Miller.


ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA Extended Director's Cut
1984, Warner Bros., 251 min, Italy, USA, Dir: Sergio Leone

Childhood friends Robert De Niro and James Woods rise to power as New York gangsters during the glory years of Prohibition, only to lose their souls in the process. Leone’s final masterpiece features Elizabeth McGovern, Treat Williams, Tuesday Weld, Joe Pesci, Burt Young, Danny Aiello and William Forsythe, as well as the film debut of Jennifer Connelly.


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