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1976, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: Paul Mazursky

Writer-director Paul Mazursky takes a semi-autobiographical look at his days as an aspiring actor in 1950s New York in this engaging dramedy. Against the advice of his mother, fresh-faced Lenny Baker moves to Greenwich Village, where he falls in with a surrogate family of oddballs as he chases stardom. Along with such veteran performers as Shelley Winters, Lois Smith and Lou Jacobi, aspiring actor Bill Murray made his big screen debut in a brief, uncredited role here.

1971, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Minnie Moore is a museum curator whose married boyfriend does little for her self-esteem. Enter parking-lot attendant Seymour Moskowitz, who tells Minnie, “I think about you so much, I forget to go to the bathroom!” As mismatched as the title couple may seem, Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel make these wounded but hopeful souls entirely real. While Cassavetes remains conscious of the disconnect between movie-inspired romantic ideals and real-life relationships, he gives an early-’70s New Hollywood spin to the screwball comedy here.

1970, Hollywood Classics, 120 min, USA, Dir: William Friedkin

Director William Friedkin’s breakthrough film (and one of the first Hollywood films with an all-gay theme), BOYS IN THE BAND is a scathingly funny bitch-fest swirling around nine gay men who gather for the birthday party of Harold (Leonard Frey), a self-described "32-year-old, ugly, pockmarked Jew fairy." Friedkin adapted Mart Crowley’s landmark Off-Broadway play with a stunning sureness of control - almost the entire film is set in a single room, and Friedkin slowly, brilliantly transforms the space into a battlefield of fierce pride and wounded emotions. With Cliff Gorman, Laurence Luckinbill.

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