Discuss Blu-rays released by Indicator and the films on them.
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
- Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
- Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
Here is a transcription of Mark Cousins' Moviedrome introduction to the film
Blue Collar (Moviedrome screening: 13th July 1997)
Two years after Taxi Driver screenwriter Paul Schrader directed his first picture, Blue Collar. Set in Detroit around a motorcar production line, it forewent Scorsese’s epic style for a more low key, almost documentary approach. As with Taxi Driver, former strict Calvanist and theology graduate Schrader wrote a script about blue collar American men, their siege mentality and their violence. He cast Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto to bring comedy and life to his characters. Jack Nitzsche’s score (he also did One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Nicolas Roeg’s Performance and An Officer and A Gentleman) captures the sounds of these men’s lives.
When you look at it now, Blue Collar doesn’t at first look like a Schrader picture. He usually focuses on one person like Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver, or Mishima, or Julian from American Gigolo, or Jake La Motta. This film is a three hander. There is a light, loose rhythm to the film that you do not usually associate from him. But then you see the great motionless scene after the first party when the three men sit and talk about their futures and float the idea of a robbery. They do not look at each other, they hardly move, the acting is very downplayed, the dialogue overlaps, there are no cutaways and no moves. It is hard to think of anyone who could have introduced the main storyline of the robbery with more conviction.
What distinguishes this film from the conventional TV style, what makes it in the end very Paul Schrader I think, is the intensity of the stare that you get in that post-party scene. I love the compassion of this film – look at the funny/scary scene when the taxman visits Pryor’s family. And I love that Schrader knows that a static camera can be sublime.