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Book Talk: Glenn Frankel and Charles Kaiser on “Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic”
The only X-rated film in history to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, Director John Schlesinger’s 1969 classic "Midnight Cowboy" portrays two unforgettable characters: Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo, brought to life by Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. The third character is New York City itself on the cusp of a churning new sexual culture, embodied by Times Square where pent-up and marginalized sexuality found expression amidst changing norms. Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Glenn Frankel’s new book, "Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation, and the Making of a Dark Classic," contextualizes the film within the stories of gay liberation and the cruising culture of Times Square. As novelist Edmund White says, “There was no ‘gay pride’ back then. There was only gay fear and gay isolation and gay distrust and gay self-hatred.” Join Frankel in conversation with Charles Kaiser, author of "The Gay Metropolis," for this look at the people, the times, and the cultural significance of a film released just one month before the Stonewall Riots.

Mar 31, 2021 06:30 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Glenn Frankel
Glenn Frankel worked for many years at The Washington Post, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. He has taught journalism at Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin, where he directed the School of Journalism. He has won a National Jewish Book Award, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and is a Motion Picture Academy Film Scholar. He is the bestselling author of "The Searchers" and "High Noon," and lives in Arlington, Virginia.
Charles Kaiser
Charles Kaiser is the author of "1968 In America, The Cost of Courage," and "The Gay Metropolis," the landmark history of gay life in America, most recently republished in an updated edition for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. He is a book critic for The Guardian (US), and has also been a press critic for Newsweek and a reporter for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Time, Vanity Fair, and many other publications. In 2015 he was inducted into the LGBT Journalists Hall of Fame.