a powerful classic. it has an unconventional, avant-garde style of storytelling and a bold subject matter which makes it an important film, but it also has an increasingly rare ability to mold sympathetic characters. and really that’s what the film is about. after you strip away the great filmmaking style, the gritty portrayal of nyc (only upstaged by scorsese’s taxi driver), and the sexual themes all you have are characters. in ratso rizzo and joe buck, schlesinger creates two of the best film characters i can think of. they’re an unlikely pair, but they work together and they are great manifestations of their respective environments. it’s a phenomenal film which you should have seen by now.