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Focus on Paul Schrader – Director of Mishima & The Light Sleeper + Gus Van Sant

  • 1canyons

    Happy birthday Paul Schrader (July 22)
    Happy birthday Gus Van Sant (July 23)

  • I Camera (Filmakers)

    Auto Focus reaffirms Schrader’s position as one of America’s most consistently compelling independent filmmakers, particularly after the triumph of his Russell Banks adaptation, Affliction (1997). But Schrader’s status as an independent director also provides a revealing case study in the difficulties of sustaining a career as a filmmaker with a personal vision.

  • A recurring theme in Schrader’s films is the protagonist on a self-destructive path, or undertaking actions which work against himself, deliberately or subconsciously. The finale often bears an element of redemption, preceded by a painful sacrifice or cathartic act of violence.
    Schrader has repeatedly referred to Taxi Driver, American Gigolo, Light Sleeper, The Canyons and The Walker as “a man in a room” stories. The protagonist in each film changes from an angry, then narcissistic, later anxious character, to a person who hides behind a mask of superficiality.(Paul Schrader wiki quotes)

  • Patty Hearst trailer (youtube)

    Embroideryby Ruby Khan pattyhearst

  • Surviving Lindsay Lohan.. (Vanity Fair)

    Schrader’s hits

    Taxi Driver (1976)

    Paul Schrader’s screenplay for ‘Taxi Driver’, written when he was 26 and in a “low and bad place”, had a searing energy that director Martin Scorsese and star Robert De Niro (as Travis Bickle) very effectively harnessed. This was the first of Schrader’s “outsider” films about a “man alone”. If Travis Bickle was a vigilante, he was one with existential leanings.

    American Gigolo (1980)

    Schrader’s most stylish movie. Richard Gere is the male escort in LA, a narcissistic outsider wearing Armani.

    Affliction (1997)

    James Coburn won an Oscar for his performance as the mean-spirited father of a small-town cop (Nick Nolte) in this bleak but powerful adaptation of a Russell Banks novel.

    (Vanity Fair fails to mention Mishima. Auto Focus, The Light Sleeper, Patty Hearst, The Comfort of Strangers are among Schrader’s best films)

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