This extraordinary, years-in-the-making documentary grabs hold of a truly unique central figure: outsider musician Peter Grudzien, the one-man musical force behind "The Unicorn," which has been described as possibly the first openly gay country album. But country doesn't begin to describe the dizzying range of music included on this 1974 release. Peter composed, performed, and recorded "The Unicorn" entirely in his childhood home in Astoria, Queens, and sold the 500 pressed copies out of a suitcase on the streets of the city. Despite this unpromising genesis, the album was rescued from oblivion and re-released in the 1990s, prompting the music critic and collector Paul Major to declare it the "greatest New York LP since the first Velvet Underground or first New York Dolls." By the time filmmakers Isabelle Dupuis and Tim Geraghty encountered Grudzien, though, mainstream recognition remained elusive, with Peter himself living a marginalized and paranoia-fueled life in Queens with his forbidding, nonagenarian father, Joseph, and his schizophrenic twin sister, Terry. THE UNICORN immerses us in Peter's life, a hermetic world transfigured by his musical talent and stubborn resilience, but full of shadows both real and imagined.
Venue: Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Ave Map
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