Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy
Director: Nancy Buirski Run Time: 101 min. Format: Digital Release Year: 2023
Starring: Bob Balaban, Brian De Palma, Ian Buruma, James Hoberman, Michael Childers
Producers: Nancy Buirski, Simon Kilmurry, Susan Margolin
A half-century after its release, Midnight Cowboy remains one of the most original and groundbreaking movies of the modern era. With beguiling performances from Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as two loners who join forces out of desperation, blacklist survivor Waldo Salt’s brilliant screenplay, and John Schlesinger’s fearless direction, the 1969 film became the only X- rated film to ever win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Its vivid and compassionate depiction of a more realistic, unsanitized New York City and its inhabitants paved the way for a generation’s worth of gritty movies with complex characters and adult themes.
This is not a documentary about the making of Midnight Cowboy. It is about a humane and groundbreaking masterpiece and the flawed but gifted people who made it. It is about a troubled era of cultural ferment, social and political change, about broken dreams and strivers, then and now. It is about an era that made a movie and a movie that made an era.