New Yorkers got a glimpse of the city’s gritty past last night at a screening of ’60s movie classic Midnight Cowboy moderated by local cinematic bard Spike Lee at the W Downtown. The event was part of the Grand Classics series, which invites prominent filmmakers to discuss landmark movies in intimate audience settings. Midnight Cowboy, John Schlesinger’s grimy, sexually ambiguous portrait of a gigolo (Jon Voight) and his vagabond friend (Dustin Hoffman) in a pre-Disney Times Square, had a profound impact on the young Lee, whose latest New York-based movie, Red Hook Summer, opens in select theaters August 10.
Guests included actress Susan Sarandon and writer-directors Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Damsels in Distress) and Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless). A public screening of Midnight Cowboy presented by Lee, with proceeds benefiting NYU Film School, will take place Tuesday, July 31. Get your tickets here.