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1976, Sony Repertory, 113 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

Director Martin Scorsese's "savage, many-headed dragon of the American New Wave" (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice) is still as potent as ever. Cabbie Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro's seminal pistol-packing, insomniac loner) drives through the open sewer that is mid-1970s Manhattan with its pimps (Harvey Keitel), hookers (Jodie Foster), politicos (Cybill Shepherd and Albert Brooks) and other scummy creatures of the neon wilderness. With a ferocious script by Paul Schrader.

1981, Sony Repertory, 93 min, USA, Dir: Albert Brooks

In his second feature as writer, director and star, Albert Brooks plays a film editor whose precision in the cutting room is hopelessly opposite from his chaotic love life. In spite of their obvious incompatibility, he and girlfriend Kathryn Harrold keep breaking up and getting back together in a vicious - but outrageously funny - cycle that exposes the neuroses of modern love. Anyone who wants to see Brooks' audacity as a director need look no further than the intricate staging of his long, lonely night at home after he takes Quaaludes to drown his sorrows.

1979, Paramount, 99 min, USA, Dir: Albert Brooks

Filmmaker Albert Brooks, playing a hilariously self-critical version of himself, follows a typical American family around with cameras in an effort to create cinema verite. The only problem is that when the family doesn't act according to his vision, Brooks begins interfering with them so that he can shape a more compelling "reality." Charles Grodin is brilliant as the father in Brooks' feature debut, a comedy at least 30 years ahead of its time in its prediction of the pleasures and pitfalls of reality TV.

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