Paul Schrader

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DarkImbecile
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Paul Schrader

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:36 pm

Paul Schrader (1946 - )

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"People who act against their own best interests are interesting characters."

Filmography

Screenwriter Only (* = Co-Writer)
The Yakuza* (1974)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Obsession (1976)
Rolling Thunder* (1977)
Old Boyfriends* (1979)
Raging Bull* (1980)
The Mosquito Coast (1986)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
City Hall* (1996)
Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Feature Directing (* = Screenwriter/Co-Writer)
Blue Collar* (1978)
Hardcore* (1979)
American Gigolo* (1980)
Cat People (1982)
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters* (1985)
Light of Day* (1987)
Patty Hearst (1988)
The Comfort of Strangers (1990)
Light Sleeper* (1992)
Touch* (1997)
Affliction* (1998)
Forever Mine* (1999)
Auto Focus (2002)
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
The Walker* (2007)
Adam Resurrected (2008)
The Canyons (2013)
The Dying of the Light/Dark* (2014)
Dog Eat Dog (2016)
First Reformed* (2017)

Television
Witch Hunt (1994)

Shorts/Music Videos
Bob Dylan - "Tight Connection to My Heart" (1985)
Untitled: New Blue (1995)
Venice Reloaded 70 (2013)

Written Works

Plays
Berlinale (1987)
The Cleopatra Club (2004)

Books
The Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer, Paul Schrader (1972/2018)
Schrader on Schrader, Kevin Jackson, ed. (2004)
Paul Schrader, Geogre Kouvaros (2008)

Web Resources
Paul Schrader's Archive of Writing on Film
1976 interview with Richard Thompson, Film Comment
2017 interview with Kevin Ritchie, NOW Magazine
2018 audio interview with Sofia Coppola, The A24 Podcast

Forum Discussion
Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
Rolling Thunder (John Flynn, 1977)
68 Blue Collar
14 Hardcore
Cat People (Paul Schrader, 1982)
432 Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
70 The Last Temptation of Christ
The Comfort of Strangers
Exorcist: The Beginning (Harlin) or Dominion (Schrader)
The Walker (Paul Schrader, 2007)
Adam Resurrected (Paul Schrader, 2008)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)
Last edited by DarkImbecile on Thu May 17, 2018 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bloody Benten
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#2 Post by Bloody Benten » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:42 pm

david hare wrote:RE: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

This is turning up on OZ TV next week - part of their arrangement with Universal - which also means the print will be very good, and like all the titles regardless of original AR masked to 1.78. I'm pretty sure the original was 1.85 so that's no big deal. The usual ABC green watermark but no ad breaks.

I can't imagine where else it might find itself shortly therafter. I think it might be his best picture.
Great film. Heard Criterion's putting it out very very excited if nothing's changed with that

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Polybius
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#3 Post by Polybius » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:01 am

I wish Rich had gotten a few more roles like this. In addition to being the co-funniest man to ever get on a stage (Carlin), he was a fine dramatic actor, standing up well with Keitel and Yaphet Kotto in this underrated gem.

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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#4 Post by david hare » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:04 am

Yes! Pryor's terrific, but they all are. The coke and hookers' party is a high point of 70s cinema.

How nice it will be to retire a terrible old P&S, censored TV version.

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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#5 Post by kaujot » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:11 am

Paul Schrader has recorded a commentary track for the Amazon.com exclusive DVD of Blue Collar. Find it here.

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Jeff
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#6 Post by Jeff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:39 am

kaujot wrote:Paul Schrader has recorded a commentary track for the Amazon.com exclusive DVD of Blue Collar. Find it here.
Are you sure about that? It looks like the description that mentions it is just copy-n-pasted from the old out-of-print Anchor Bay disc's product description. One of the reviews of the DVD-R even makes mention of the fact that it drops the commentary.

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kaujot
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#7 Post by kaujot » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:02 am

I should have mentioned that the info came from Roger Ebert's twitter, but I assumed since the two of them are relatively pally, that it was legit. Here's his tweet in full,
Roger Ebert wrote:Paul Schrader records the first commentary track of his career, for an Amazon exclusive edition of "Blue Collar. http://j.mp/cXSESH" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Reviews on that Amazon page mention the commentary, as does the Amazon editorial description. Disappointing if it's not really there.

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Jeff
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#8 Post by Jeff » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:38 am

Roger is confused by Amazon's product description which is indeed copied from the Anchor Bay description. Schrader's commentary appeared on that disc, which was released over ten years ago. That may have well been his first commentary, but he has recorded several since (the Warner and Criterion releases of Mishima, Cat People, Auto Focus, Dominion).

You'll note that all of the Amazon reviews which mention the commentary are dated from the early 2000s. It's just an Amazon thing where reviews and descriptions often are duplicated for multiple versions of the same film.

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Roger Ryan
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#9 Post by Roger Ryan » Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:29 am

Yeah, Schrader does commentary on Criterion's THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST DVD as well which came out in April, 2000. I was under the impression that Schrader has contributed commentary or participated in a DVD extra for almost every film he has been associated with.

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kaujot
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#10 Post by kaujot » Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:21 am

Wells, nerts to that, and nerts to myself for not checking dates.

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Person
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#11 Post by Person » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:23 am

The UK DVD of Light Sleeper has a commentary by Schrader. The original DVD of Mishima, too.

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fdm
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Re: Blue Collar (Paul Schrader 1978)

#12 Post by fdm » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:32 am

The UK DVD of Blue Collar doesn't suffer too terribly from PAL speedup, the picture looked quite good for an anamorphic DVD, and it's really cheap. (Just thought that I'd point out that there is no need to be paying 20 bucks for a DVD-R, if you are willing to compromise just a little bit on the PAL speedup. And it seems the DVD-R is non-anamorphic, so all the more reason to pass.)

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The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader, 1990)

#13 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:25 pm

IMHO Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers is one of his best films. Underrated & little seen, this movie is about a young British couple who are vacationing in Venice. They do some sightseeing, then eventually capture the interest of a somewhat creepy guy (Christopher Walken) who ends up taking them back to his home to meet his ill wife (Helen Mirren). The movie truly drips with unease, foreboding, and even horror.

As I mentioned in the "Don't Look Now" thread, TCOS really presents Venice as being a somewhat menacing city with potential danger lurking around every corner, especially at night when the streets are more deserted.

Unfortunately, I believe this is amazing film is only available on a long OOP Region 1 pan & scan DVD. It really needs a Blu upgrade w/improved PQ & an anamorphic print.

Also worth checking out is the novel the film is based on, by Ian McEwan.

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Re: The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader, 1990)

#14 Post by Pepsi » Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:22 am

Unfortunately, I believe this is amazing film is only available on a long OOP Region 1 pan & scan DVD
Yes it's underrated. Screenplay by Harold Pinter, music by Angelo Badalamenti, etc

The UK R2 DVD is still available at Amazon.uk for 6.50 Pound. It's anamorphic in OAR. There's also at DVDBEAVER a review!

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Re: The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader, 1990)

#15 Post by rockysds » Thu May 14, 2015 1:05 am

German blu-ray coming from Koch Media end of June.
Amazon.de

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Koukol
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Re: The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader, 1990)

#16 Post by Koukol » Thu May 14, 2015 3:32 pm

I completely forgot about this film.
I had a copy on VHS and owned the novel
It helped having a major crush on Natasha.

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Re: The Comfort of Strangers (Paul Schrader, 1990)

#17 Post by swo17 » Thu May 14, 2015 3:35 pm

Your haiku needs work
It's not even a haiku
Try harder next time

Harry Caul
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Light Sleeper (Paul Schrader, 1992)

#18 Post by Harry Caul » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:00 am

Recently re-watched the extremely underrated Light Sleeper. This is one of my favorite '90's films. Very moody, with a fantastic neo-noir tone/vibe, a jazzy soundtrack, NYC setting, and solid acting.

Willem Dafoe is great as the 40-year old drug "delivery boy" John LeTour, who realizes he is getting too old for "the business", but isn't sure what new direction he wants to explore. And, Susan Sarandon is amazing here; her role of the head drug dealer could have been a trashy stereotype, but she brings a lot of flair & class to the character.

The themes of alienation & inability to form any kind of lasting connection with others are very strong here; LeTour records his ex-girlfriend Marianne's (Dana Delany) phone message from her hotel room & plays it over & over in his solitary apartment. This is one of several scenes with him sitting alone in his apartment at night, with the radio news/commentary being the only real sign of life.

There is another great scene of him & Marianne sitting in a hospital cafeteria - shortly after they first meet again after many years. He is trying to form a connection with her again, and she refuses him. There is a shot of them sitting across the table from each other, with a pillar in the middle - emphasizing the gulf between them. Fantastic imagery here.

Also, the scenes of the sidewalks filled with trash (due to a NYC garbage strike) emphasizes the claustrophobia of LeTour.

When I first saw the film,
SpoilerShow
I felt that Marianne had jumped out of Tis Brug's (V. Garber) apartment as a suicide, because she was upset that her mother had died & had turned to drugs again to cope with the loss; her seeing LeTour at the apartment (he was there for a deal) may have also driven her over the edge. However, after re-watching this it looks like Brug (or someone else with him) may have killed her. It's also implied that Brug (and/or an associate) may have been responsible for other murders that were being investigated at the time.
As PS himself has said, Light Sleeper is his third in a "man in the room" series, the first two films being Taxi Driver (1976) and American Gigolo (1980). Not surprisingly, there are a lot of connections between LS & AG especially - i.e., the alienation of the main character; both main characters wind up in jail at the end of these films, etc.

This film really needs a better transfer than what we've had so far; it's on DVD in the full-screen format (long OOP at this point). However, to me this really deserves the Criterion Blu treatment. That being said, Paul Schrader's film have been under-represented on home video - Patty Hearst & Light of Day still haven't gotten Region 1 DVD/Blu releases - so, I won't be holding my breath....
Last edited by Harry Caul on Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

beamish13
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Re: Light Sleeper (Paul Schrader, 1992)

#19 Post by beamish13 » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:23 pm

One of Schrader's very best films, and I'm actually far more partial to this than Taxi Driver. It's an incredible snapshot of New York at the time, and the performances are mesmerizing. Michael Been's songs are phenomenal, and it's fortunate that the original plan to exclusively feature Bob Dylan's music didn't pan out. New Line/Fine Line could seemingly do no wrong during this period.

The brilliant Patty Hearst is out as an MGM burn-on-demand disc, and I thought Sony was doing the same with Light of Day.

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Re: Light Sleeper (Paul Schrader, 1992)

#20 Post by Harry Caul » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:14 pm

beamish13 wrote:One of Schrader's very best films, and I'm actually far more partial to this than Taxi Driver. It's an incredible snapshot of New York at the time, and the performances are mesmerizing. Michael Been's songs are phenomenal, and it's fortunate that the original plan to exclusively feature Bob Dylan's music didn't pan out. New Line/Fine Line could seemingly do no wrong during this period.

The brilliant Patty Hearst is out as an MGM burn-on-demand disc, and I thought Sony was doing the same with Light of Day.
Agreed about Michael Been's songs; very fitting for this story/film, and I don't think Dylan's music would have been as effective here.

Good news about Patty Hearst - I didn't know about this - Thanks.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#21 Post by John Cope » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:53 pm

Light Sleeper has always been among my very favorite Schrader films (in my overly impressionable youth I even bought a leather jacket to match Dafoe's). I'm lucky enough to also actually have a copy of the soundtrack that collects all of Been's superb score and songs. The UK DVD, btw, is still readily available and is in the proper aspect ratio and contains an excellent commentary.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#22 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:15 pm

Light Sleeper and Affliction are both pretty great.

I only made it 15 minutes in Dog Eat Dog, does it get as bad as I think it does from there?

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Mr. Deltoid
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Re: Paul Schrader

#23 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:18 pm

Does the more recent Optimum UK disc have the commentary? Or is it just on the now seemingly out of print Momentum DVD?

Edit: I'm referring to the Light Sleeper disc by the way.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#24 Post by Harry Caul » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:02 am

-Re: Schrader's iconic re-make of Cat People (1982), I was a kid back in '82 - so was way too young to see it in theatres...but always wanted to due to N. Kinski. And, I do remember the trailer & advertising for the film. (For whatever reason I didn't see this in it's entirety until I got my first DVD player in the 2000's).

This is a truly classic movie. Excellent but sad story, beautiful actresses (NK & Annette O'Toole), good effects (for the time), and extremely impressive visuals - especially the flash-back prehistoric?! sequences with the matte paintings & creepy, red lighting. And, incredible scenery of early '80's New Orleans.

AFAIC, this '82 film is far superior to the original b&w movie (which I've also seen).

-Saw The Canyons a while back, only because I'm a huge Schrader fan. The movie was O.K. - not nearly as bad as everyone is making it out to be, but definitely far from great. I'm not a huge Bret Easton Ellis fan (his books & films are basically all about spoiled rich people, which I don't find compelling), and IMHO this was far more a BEE film than it was a Paul Schrader film. That being said, I did like certain aspects to the movie:

The shots in the beginning (and I believe throughout the film) of the empty, abandoned movie theaters, and the later conversation that two characters had about film - i.e., "When was the last time you went to see a film in the theater that really meant something to you?" - I'm paraphrasing here, but the theme seemed to be that people aren't going to see films in the theater as much anymore, the art of film is dying/dead, and that most films made now aren't that great and/or don't mean as much as they used to. Also, it is true that I see less movie theaters around these days; a lot of them have shut down in my area, and there are very few new ones to replace them....

The scene when the young guy who was having the affair with the Lohan character confronted another guy in a parking garage who had been following him - I thought this was a nice homage to a very similar scene in Schrader's American Gigolo (1980).....
Last edited by Harry Caul on Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#25 Post by beamish13 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:02 pm

Regarding Dog Eat Dog, I definitely think it's worth another shot. The beginning seems to deliberately be off-putting and challenging for viewers, but the rest should be more palatable. There are some incredibly funny moments, particularly one tracking shot where Cage and Dafoe are in a "police" car. I wish it adhered a bit closer to Edward Bunker's source novel, though.

Schrader is definitely in the Alex Cox phase of his career, meaning that he will likely not make another studio film, and certainly not another project with a sizable budget, so he's pretty much going for broke with the resources at his disposal.

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