Author Topic: Paul Schrader  (Read 12266 times)

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SoNowThen

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Paul Schrader
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2003, 11:29:42 AM »
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he did a draft, yes.


run out and buy the criterion disc! you will not be sorry!!!
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

NEON MERCURY

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« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2003, 01:58:57 PM »
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i have only seen one of the films he directed......affliction.and thought is was great.....



the tooth makes me cringe

eward

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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2003, 10:43:00 PM »
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would have been interesting to see how close encounters would have turned out had they stayed with his drafts...........

soixante

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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2003, 02:34:22 AM »
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Light Sleeper is one of Schrader's weaker films.  No loss if you don't see it.  Light of Day with Michael J. Fox is also weak, almost a self-parody.  Cat People sucked.  Mishima was forgettable.  For his directorial efforts, focus on Blue Collar, Hardcore, American Gigolo and Affliction.
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MacGuffin

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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2003, 11:40:16 AM »
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To his wife and fans, "Hogan's Heroes" star Bob Crane was so convincing an actor that he seemed like the rare celebrity uncorrupted by showbiz. But off-camera, Crane led a very different double life. He was both a sex addict and an early adopter of home-movie technology, a combination that suggests that even when American audiences weren't tuned in to his show, Crane was never really "off-camera." The actor painstakingly documented his sexual exploits, literally cataloging his conquests for posterity. In a provocative twist, Crane now serves as the specimen before the lens in Paul Schrader's new film, Auto Focus.

Schrader is no stranger to biopics (he co-wrote the Raging Bull screenplay) or hardcore (in fact, that's the name of the second film he directed, about a Calvinist father who sets out to rescue his runaway daughter from the L.A. porn industry). But the man who wrote Taxi Driver and The Last Temptation of Christ was a little surprised by how difficult it was to get Auto Focus past the MPAA. "I've been watching too much 'Sex in the City,'" he explains. "I thought I was dealing with an 'R.' I wasn't aware that what HBO was doing would not have gotten an 'R.' I decided to blur the offending portions, just so the audience would know that it wasn't cheesecake, that it was hardcore, but we can't show it to them." In the past, Schrader's raw subject matter has forced us to question the pleasures we get by watching movies. In Auto Focus, he expands that theme, asking us to consider why we make them as well.

Here, in his own words, Schrader recommends five films that help him to answer that question.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Conformist
(1970, dir: Bernardo Bertolucci, starring: Jean Louis Trintignant, Stefania Sandrelli)
There are certain movies I tend to re-screen when I'm getting ready to direct, which is what I'm doing now. The first one is The Conformist, which is a film that is very liberating in terms of how it uses the camera. That whole kind of fascist mentality and that mixture of talents -- [production designer] Nando Scarfiotti, [cinematographer] Vittorio Storaro and Bernardo Bertolucci -- was as perfect a visual troika as you can have. [Rather than simply borrowing the film's style, Schrader asked Storaro to shoot his next project, a prequel to The Exorcist.] It's called Exorcist: The Beginning. This takes place 25 years before the Friedkin movie. Stellan Skarsgard plays the young Lancaster Merrin during World War II when he first meets the devil. The sequels suffered from having to deal with all that baggage that's left over, but I'm in front of it, so maybe I can get away. I just have to stay clear of a lot of that stuff The Exorcist is famous for because you can't beat that film on its own turf.

Performance
(1970, dir: Donald Cammell and Nicholas Roeg, starring: James Fox, Mick Jagger)
Performance, the Nic Roeg/Donald Cammell film, is also visually very, very alive. It's absolutely fascinating. It mixes two genres; it's sort of the hippie film with the gangster film. It's about a gangster, James Fox, who's on the run and ends up living in this house -- actually it's Keith Richards's house -- with Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg, and a loss of sexual identity and everything like that. It's a tremendous film, and I saw it again recently. It holds up very well. I've never had the guts to quite go there, although there is a shot in Mishima that is taken from Performance. I just mention it because it is a film that you cannot watch without being invigorated visually. It sets you thinking.  

Natural Born Killers
(1994, dir: Oliver Stone, starring: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis)
The same is true of Natural Born Killers. You can't watch that movie without thinking visually; it's so full of ideas. When you're preparing a film, that's what you want to see. You can watch it with the sound off, just have it playing in the background and every once in a while glance over, and all of a sudden, you'll see something. It's just outrageous, you know, that whole section where they portray child abuse as a sitcom. I mean, my God, just the audacity and the originality of it all. I don't care much for movies that demand that you think a certain way or feel a certain way at the end. I like it to stay a little bit open, give room for the viewer to participate in the process, rattle around inside the text of the film and come up with his or her own conclusions, which may or may not be the conclusions of the filmmaker.  

Pickpocket
(1959, dir: Robert Bresson, starring: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green)
I think the primary inspiration to me as a writer was the Bresson film Pickpocket. It made it so clear to me that you could do these kind of character studies of lesser people, people defined by their situation in life or their occupation, and sort of go from place to place and watch them. You can trace the activity of a person and gradually their interior life will be revealed. Of course, Bresson did not believe in psychological realism, and I do, so that's a huge, huge difference, but without Pickpocket, there couldn't have been Taxi Driver. There is a kind of character I keep circling around [in Taxi Driver, American Gigolo and Light Sleeper]. I want to take him into his fifties. That's the film I want to do with Kevin Kline. I've written the script. It's called The Walker; it's about a society walker, a homosexual, a fellow who squires rich ladies to the opera whose skills are more social than sexual.

Prick Up Your Ears
(1987, dir: Stephen Frears, starring: Gary Oldman, Alfred Molina)
I think with a biopic, what you're trying to do is make a film that has the power of fiction. Prick Up Your Ears, the Stephen Frears film, has a relationship at the center of it that is similar, you know, these two men, only that was Joe Orton. So with Crane and Carpenter, I was trying to do an American, middle-aged, heterosexual, TV-star version of the Joe Orton/Kenneth [Halliwell] relationship, so that was useful to see on Auto Focus. I do something that's a bit of a cheat. I sit down and I retype the whole script, rewrite all the descriptions and rewrite all the dialogue in my own words. Sometimes I don't change much at all, but I retype it, and I put in my own punctuation, so by the time I get out there to direct it, I'm looking at it and thinking, "Oh, yeah, I remember writing this."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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SoNowThen

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« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2003, 11:42:15 AM »
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Fuck, and I thought the Egoyan list was good.

Amazing!!!

Schrader is da man!


EDIT: can someone please give me an explanation of "psychological realism"?
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2003, 11:44:21 AM »
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All excellent choices (with the very notable exception of Natural Born Killers... yeesh, Paul!).

It's interesting that this is the only overlap in these lists (so far): He and Todd Haynes both chose Roeg's (and Cammell's) Performance.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2003, 12:42:37 PM »
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Mac, thanks for posting these Top 5 Lists.

See, stuff like this, this is what movies are all about. All these directors are talking about the film they're making now, through the prism of those that came before and influenced it. This is the point of cinema. No bullshit gossip over who has final cut, or who was doing what drug on set, or whatever, just good film talk. These are the kind of interviews I hope I get to do one day...
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

grand theft sparrow

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« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2004, 12:01:27 PM »
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The devil you'll never know
By Nick Nunziata
CNN Headline News
Tuesday, March 16, 2004 Posted: 11:28 AM EST (1628 GMT)



(CNN) -- Sometimes it's hard to decide which is truly more horrific: The world of horror or the world of the film business.

With horror you have staples to rely on. You know that the victim is going to open a closet and get startled by a cat while the real villain lurks behind them. You know that the scary voice on the phone will be revealed to be coming from upstairs in the house. You know that the little girl isn't vomiting pea soup across the room because it's fun, though I must admit that it is a hobby of mine.

The familiarity of horror is what makes the genre eternal. After a long week, sometimes we need a little shock or a little mayhem in our escapism. The horror of reality is present every time we unfold a newspaper or change the channel, so we'll take a guy in a hockey mask on film over a guy in a ski mask in real life any chance we can get.

That makes sense. The film business does us no such favors. It's a serpentine beast, impossible to predict and often one whose motives and logic seem veiled in the mire.

A perfect example would be how the upcoming "Exorcist: The Beginning" prequel has been handled through its unique and controversial existence.

For those who aren't aware, the fourth film in the successful horror series was shot last year in Italy and Morocco with respected filmmaker Paul Schrader behind the lens and the always solid Stellan Skarsgärd playing the younger incarnation of the priest that Max von Sydow played in the 1973 original.

That's a rather solid one-two punch, especially in a business where most franchises have lost all their creative steam by their second installment. This was to be a very smart and very classical horror film.

Remember, "The Exorcist" was nominated for 10 Academy Awards back in the day. This isn't a series raised upon cheap scares but rather deeply psychological terrors, things that shake people to their very core.

Most horror aficionados would be chomping at the bit to see an "Exorcist" movie from the writer of "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," but because of Hollywood's penchant for all things illogical, we'll never see the film.

Even though the movie was finished and assembled, a new director and a mostly new cast has been brought on board to shoot the film anew. Who is this director brought in to make Schrader's thought-provoking cerebral horror film into a fast-paced and flashy thriller geared toward today's audience? Renny Harlin, the man behind "Cutthroat Island" and "Cliffhanger."

It makes you wonder if the powers that be felt we as an audience weren't able to appreciate a film geared more toward the motives of fear and the concept of faith. Schrader's film may have been truly special, but we may never know.

Instead, we'll see a weird amalgam of a movie, one whose behind the scenes turmoil will probably eclipse whatever terror appears on the screen.

Now, that is horror.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------

So while the rest of us are signing the petition to get this released, can someone please make a bootleg copy of this available?

SoNowThen

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« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2004, 12:08:58 PM »
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Where's the petition, I wanna sign it.


And yes, a boot copy would be killer.

Btw, how the fuck does a guy like Renny Harlin prosper in Hollywood?
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2004, 04:42:07 PM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Where's the petition, I wanna sign it.


And yes, a boot copy would be killer.

Btw, how the fuck does a guy like Renny Harlin prosper in Hollywood?


Bottom-line Darwinism and the lax standards of the filmgoing public.

I hate this whole Exorcist thing, because I know that there's an interesting Paul Schrader film out there that I'll probably never get to see. The Harlin thing is just insult to injury.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2004, 04:45:02 PM »
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Yeah, but don't a lot of Harlin movies LOSE money? Like Cutthroat Island was a bomb. Doesn't that cash out his chips? Like, you were a lucky horse for a while Renny, but now if you're not a guaranteed money-maker, why are we employing your hack ass? I doubt producers work with him for the artistic pleasure...
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #27 on: March 18, 2004, 04:51:07 PM »
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Quote from: SoNowThen
Yeah, but don't a lot of Harlin movies LOSE money? Like Cutthroat Island was a bomb. Doesn't that cash out his chips? Like, you were a lucky horse for a while Renny, but now if you're not a guaranteed money-maker, why are we employing your hack ass? I doubt producers work with him for the artistic pleasure...


That's true... but I think if once upon a time you made them lots of money, they'll give you chance after chance.

Whereas if once upon a time you made masterpieces for them but not a whole lot of money, you have to struggle your entire career.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

grand theft sparrow

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« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2004, 06:59:11 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: SoNowThen
Yeah, but don't a lot of Harlin movies LOSE money? Like Cutthroat Island was a bomb. Doesn't that cash out his chips? Like, you were a lucky horse for a while Renny, but now if you're not a guaranteed money-maker, why are we employing your hack ass? I doubt producers work with him for the artistic pleasure...


That's true... but I think if once upon a time you made them lots of money, they'll give you chance after chance.

Whereas if once upon a time you made masterpieces for them but not a whole lot of money, you have to struggle your entire career.


If you were a producer who wanted to make a movie that the (du)m(b)asses were going to flock to see, who would you pick to direct it, the guy who did Auto Focus or the guy who did Deep Blue Sea?   :?

I only hope that Renny Harlin's version makes SO much money that they decide to release Schrader's version on the DVD as an "alternate version."  They've got a finished film.  Why not make some money off of it and satisfy the curiosity of people who actually appreciate the work of good directors in the process?

If the infamous 4+ hour version of Apocalypse Now can float around for years before Redux came out, someone can get this out to the people.  There has to be one gofer at Warner Bros that knows where the Schrader print is and can get a copy of it on the internet to get people buzzing about it.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2004, 08:54:39 AM »
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Yeah, but the Schrader cut probably isn't properly mixed or color corrected yet...
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

 

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