In Brian De Palma’s madcap political satire, Robert De Niro is Jon Rubin, an aspiring filmmaker and peeping tom returning to New York from the Vietnam War and settling into a slummy Greenwich Village apartment to film his unsuspecting neighbors. After he experiences an erratic series of disappointments, he finds his way into the world of performance art: the infamous “Be Black, Baby,” an outrageous film-within-a-film set piece that satirizes 1970s New York’s racial tensions to provocative extremes. There’s an exhilarating sense of freedom and experimentation to the young De Niro’s performance as Rubin, a composite of the personality types that will surface throughout his body of work: from Vietnam vet to pornographer, from urban yuppie to domestic terrorist.