Moving between the starlight of Hollywood’s golden age and the stardust that made Studio 54 sparkle in the 1970s, director Matt Tyrnauer’s recent documentaries Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood and Studio 54 capture sexual utopias before the dawn of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Moving between the two films in a wide ranging conversation, host Eric Newman and Tyrnauer riff on post-closet culture, the social absorption of economic and political changes, and the glimpses of freedom to be caught in these moments for the archive of American experience.

Also, Ben Marcus drops in to recommend Catherine Lacey’s new collection of stories Certain American States.