Paul Schrader

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Re: Paul Schrader

#51 Post by dda1996a » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:23 am

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:44 pm
DarkImbecile wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 11:53 am
Inspired by Schrader's chart, which is most interesting in many ways, I've designed a Durational Cinema Map of my own with a few changes and keeping the gist of it. Some auteurs I didn't know I've omitted, and I added others to map out the tendencies of "contemplative cinema" today and in the past. I kept the center of classical narration, and added 3 new directions (which are not endpoints/deadends but waypoint to the future of cinema). I also lost the "Tarkovsky Ring" which refers to the USA market. Most of the auteurs outside the ring are arthouse favourites (not art gallery guests). Thus I divided the map in concentric circles to show evolution of the non-narrative cinema from Neorealismo, to Modern Cinema, to Contemplative Cinema (since the 70ies onward). These aren't properly chronological eras, more like stylistic steps on an evolution course from Classicism to Contemplative Cinema.
It's tough to plot each auteur at the "right" place, sometimes they fit in more than one area, sometimes it's hard to pinpoint even one location, but I wanted to figure the most representative of "slower cinema". This vague placement delineates certain proximities/filiation/succession by creating peculiar families in one area of the map and others seem so far apart.
In the end, I trust more the radial genealogy (from Neorealismo to CCC) than the random connections between waypoints/quadrants. The full circle doesn't really work. Schrader was more prudent to avoid connecting the dots...
I wonder if Paul Schrader would like this map.
Image from Unspoken Cinema
I like your graph, even though I contest to the surrealism and documentary sections (and Benning appears twice).
I haven't seen a Tsai film yet, but having just read the introduction in the book, in the surveillance section he uses the example of Van Sant's death trilogy, which I guess makes more sense. Still no clue as to whether Tsai fits or not though.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#52 Post by BenoitRouilly » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:22 am

Thank you. Benning is not the only one with two locations on the map... ;)
Schrader : All realistic non-narrative films vector the same direction. The more pure they become, the less editorial, the more objective they are; the more they resemble the surveillance camera. That is the end point of Bazin's "objective reality." The unending, all-seeing eye of the closed-circuit camera. "Pure cinema."
The quotidian, the ordinary I agree for the surveillance camera. But Schrader also lumps in with Surveillance camera : the "walking" film, and the "anthropological" which are more subjective and emotional than a CCTV cam. GVS's Death Trilogy fits with the "walking" film.

The "Surréalisme" waypoint is not the textbook manifesto, it's more a quadrant of oneiric, dreamlike, mannerist, baroque, symbolist, impressionist kind of contemplative cinema. Which is at the opposite of Bazin's "Realism", so it's contemplative but not in a real world aspect.

The "Documentary" waypoint represents the non-fiction side of contemplative cinema. Many auteurs are making proper documentaries with the Contemplative Cinema conventions. But they are documentarists

Tsai is wonderful (a pity he quited cinema making). To start I recommend "What Time Is It There?" (2001)
Last edited by BenoitRouilly on Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#53 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:04 pm

I would also recommend the films of Tsai Ming-liang. It seems that he has shifted focus somewhat over the course of his films, especially the contrast between his Walker films, where the staged action seems meant to contrast against the natural surroundings into which the monk has been placed, and his 'final' film Stray Dogs, where there are moments of that but then the camera moves in close to a face. So close that all surroundings are blotted out and we just see the effect of duration on the emotions passing across a face. Or characters stop in static tableaus for minutes at a time and rather than having 'normal speed' surroundings to contrast against we are left with the tiniest movements to analyse at that point. There is a kind of surrealism that arises from that too.

Something I am curious about is the "Tableau/Surrealisme/Art Gallery" intersection. I guess we could touch upon Buñuel or Rene Clair's fantastic Entre'acte, though it seems that the early surrealist films moved towards fast motion and linking edits for their effect and meaning to come through (much like the classic comedians!). Later on in his career Buñuel seemed to move towards longer sequences within his films (I am thinking especially of the soldier's recounting of his dream in Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), but was still making films edited in a more conventional style within which to place surrealist elements.

The question that I have is whether 'contemplative cinema' and longer duration shots have led towards more surrealist elements appearing, as in the films of Roy Anderssen (or Phillip Ridley). Where the surrealism is not being caused so much by a camera trick or an edit, but instead the slow shifting of elements within a long held shot, or the appearance of an unexpected element is becoming the new surrealist train, such as the creature in Weerastehakul's film Uncle Boomee, or the scene with the windfarms in Dumont's Twentynine Palms (a film in which every human element and interaction feels surreal, or at least faintly absurdist, set against an ancient landscape).

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Re: Paul Schrader

#54 Post by BenoitRouilly » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:45 pm

You're right, Entr'acte is fast-paced and Buñuel is less non-narrative than Contemplative filmmakers.
But I see more (contemplative) surréalisme in Ruiz (Le temps retrouvé), Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) or Chytilova (Daisies) while developping the long takes, the silent treatment and the lack of plot (yet remaining precursor to today's Contemplative Cinema). Matthew Barney (His Cremaster Cycle; Drawing Restraint 9) is also a great example (well into the Contemporary Contemplative Cinema aesthetics) but he gravitates toward gallery installations.

I agree there is absurdist mise en scène in Andersson, yet he's pretty much a hyper-realist (apart from the make up and set design maybe). He's between the quirk of so-called "surréalisme" and the careful/obsessionnal frame design of tableaux.
However I would say this tendency toward "sur-realism" is rather slim in Contemplative Cinema. As we can see on the map which is top-heavy (unless I'm forgeting major names).

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Re: Paul Schrader

#55 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:15 am

New interview of Paul Schrader at Filmmaker Magazine (July 31st, 2018):
Committed to Paper: Writer/Director Paul Schrader on First Reformed
You know, it all starts with neorealism. And it starts with that famous shot that both Bazin and Deleuze talk about. The maid wakes up in the morning and goes over to light the stove to make some coffee. She gets a match out and strikes it, and it doesn’t light. She strikes it again. It lights, but the match goes out. She gets another match, she strikes it, it stays on, and she lights the stove. And Bazin was saying, “This is what is radical here—the use of time, real time.” Everything we’ve been doing [in classical cinema] is to tighten time. And now, time is starting to become the subject—you know, what happens. So, it starts with [the maid] and then she becomes Jeanne Dielman.

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Re: Paul Schrader

#56 Post by whaleallright » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:38 am

Never let it be said that Paul Schrader will refuse an interview request!

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