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Paul Schrader

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Drenk

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Reply #75 on: October 29, 2019, 12:23:33 PM
Oscar Strikes Back.
Ascension.


wilder

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Reply #76 on: January 24, 2020, 10:52:22 PM
Alex Ross Perry's Paul Schrader profile is up on The Criterion Channel

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Paul Schrader: Man in a Room

A titan of the American cinema who emerged from the ranks of the 1970s movie brats with his era-defining screenplay for TAXI DRIVER, writer-director Paul Schrader has pursued a defiantly singular vision in his provocative explorations of guilt and salvation in a soul-sick world. In this episode of the Criterion Channel’s ongoing Meet the Filmmakers series, director Alex Ross Perry (HER SMELL, LISTEN UP PHILIP) visits the ever-iconoclastic auteur on the set of his acclaimed latest film, FIRST REFORMED, where Schrader reflects on the highs and lows of his legendary career, the challenges and rewards of slow cinema, and his often controversial social-media presence. Expounding on the influences and experiences that led him to FIRST REFORMED, Schrader situates his late-period masterpiece within the context of his extensive body of work.




eward

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Reply #77 on: January 29, 2020, 05:35:36 PM
First of all, that ^ was awesome.

Second of all, so is this:

THE METROGRAPH INTERVIEW: PAUL SCHRADER
BY AUSTIN DALE
January 29 2020

Three years ago, director Alex Ross Perry began to shoot interviews with one of the great critics and filmmakers, Paul Schrader, on the set of First Reformed. The footage has now resulted in a new documentary made in collaboration with The Criterion Channel, Paul Schrader: Man in a Room. Both directors are good friends of Metrograph, so they joined us for a screening of the new documentary, followed by one of Schrader's most controversial films, The Canyons. Schrader joined us upstairs at the Metrograph Commissary to talk about The Irishman, the apocalypse, his upcoming film, and the unlikely archival merits of pornography.

Austin Dale: How have you been, Paul? What have you been up to?

Paul Schrader: I just came back from doing this whole megillah in France. It was ten days, with a full retrospective. I gave a lecture and made about eight appearances. I did a lot of press. Willem Dafoe came over, Oliver Assayas did a talk with me, Irène Jacob came, and the mayor gave me a dinner. It was kind of exhausting.

Austin Dale: Still, I’m sure it was fun.

Paul Schrader: Well, yeah, I don’t want to burden you, but nothing in my life is much fun now. I go to the hospital every day because my wife is sick. That has defined my life for the last year. I sort of gave up filmmaking to become a caregiver. When this first started happening, I had lunch with Marty [Scorsese]. He said two things: “A spouse can’t be a caregiver, and don’t let it stop you from working.” Well, I failed at both. I became a caregiver, and I stopped working.

But now, in another week, I’m gonna go back to work. I’ve written a new script and I’m making a new film. We’re cast and we’re financed. It’s an original script, very much in the style I like to do. Nice cast. Oscar Isaac is the main guy. Tye Sheridan and Tiffany Haddish. And Willem’s in it too. I love Tiffany. I’ve never met her, but I was on the phone with her for an hour. She’s a firecracker. It’s like talking to a live-wire connection. She’s very funny and, of course, she makes you funny. When someone’s sharp, that makes you get sharp because you want to keep up. So that’s all good. In my films, I’ll sort of combine two worlds that seem to have nothing to do with each other. In the new one, it’s the world series of poker and Abu Ghraib.

Austin Dale: I watched Hardcore for the first time this week. Those are two worlds, for sure.

Paul Schrader: The thing with that movie is, unfortunately, the studio made me change the ending to that film. I’ve always had a problem with that. The original script had the Chinatown ending, which is, he discovers his daughter was killed in a car crash, unrelated to pornography, and he has to go home. That’s Jake in Chinatown. Columbia Pictures said that I had to have the Searchers ending, not Chinatown. So that ending never worked for me.

It’s an interesting curio of a film, particularly as time goes on, my films become time capsules of a certain time and place. You know who Henri Langlois was? From the Cinémathèque Française? He believed that everything should be saved. Everything. Pornography, everything. Somebody asked him why pornography should be saved. He said, “The room decor. They don’t dress the rooms.” You want to see what rooms actually look like? Watch porn. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what he was watching: the decor of the rooms.

Austin Dale: You couldn’t make Hardcore at a studio now. Not in a million years.

Paul Schrader: None of these films you could make at a studio. You couldn’t make Chinatown, you couldn’t make The Godfather. That’s gone. The mid-range, serious film has migrated to television. We don’t really have studios anymore. We have Netflix, Amazon, Google. The streamers are the studios. The studios can’t afford, obviously, The Irishman. The studios can’t afford to make that. They wouldn’t make Marriage Story, and they wouldn’t make the new Soderbergh.

When it comes to theatrical, there are four categories left: One is spectacle. Another is the family and children’s films, because you love to see your kid watching with other kids. The third is date movies. That’s primarily horror, some comedy thrown in. And the fourth is club cinema. It used to be called art house cinema, but now that has changed, pretty much, not only around the country, but the world. And club cinema is where alcohol is the new popcorn and you become a member.

Austin Dale: You lived in Los Angeles for a long time, right?

Paul Schrader: About 15 years. I went out to LA to go to UCLA film school in 1968. My mother died and I was going through her stuff, and uh, she was a hoarder. And I found, from ‘67 to ‘71, I wrote my brother every two weeks. He was in Japan avoiding the draft. And I told him all about coming to LA, being with Pauline Kael, and all about every movie I saw. It was a real interesting look into a time and a place. The thing about letter writing is, when you’re writing letters about what’s happening, it’s not the same as remembering.

So I read these, I had thrown away his correspondence. But he had kept mine. I’m writing to him and I’m saying: I was Melnitz Hall, which was the building of the film school. There was a commotion and everybody went outside. People are running around and yelling. Sirens. And in the hall next to us, the Ralph Bunche Center, the Panthers were having a meeting. And Ron Karenga had a group called the US [Organization], who were a rival group to the Panthers. And these guys came into the Panthers meeting and there was a shooting. And there you see two cats on the linoleum bleeding. People are running this way and that. Then the cameras come. They’re screaming, “Go back to your classrooms!” So I’m writing this to my brother, and the next paragraph is, “And that night, I saw a terrific silent film by King Vidor. Show People. Fabulous." So that was 1968. Panther shooting in the afternoon, silent film at night.

Austin Dale: What movies did you like this year?

Paul Schrader: It was a very good year. I liked a lot of films. There are more good movies than there are good audiences. Atlantics, Uncut Gems, Les Miserables. I wasn’t knocked out by Marriage Story. The Irishman is Marty’s The Wild Bunch. The end of an era. Just like The Wild Bunch is the last real Western, this feels like the last real gangster film. There will be other gangster movies, but The Irishman finally said that these guys are out of time, out of place.

Everyone’s watching it on Netflix, but I watched it that first matinee screening at New York Film Festival. There was a crowd, but pretty much nobody had really seen the film. Kent Jones had only seen an hour and a half of it. And everyone was there. And I said, this is the Roman arena. And if Marty is gonna get killed in the arena, I wanna see it happen! But it was uneasy for the first half hour. You could tell. People were very judgemental. And then about a half hour in, people started relaxing and started saying that this is gonna be a good movie. I'm glad it got made. I mean, this was a movie made on six months of shooting, with $160 million.

Austin Dale: What’s the biggest budget you’ve worked with?

Paul Schrader: Not much. Very little, in comparison. It was on The Exorcist thing, maybe $15 to $20 million.

Austin Dale: And you’re more comfortable somewhere on the level of, like, Light Sleeper, for example.

Paul Schrader: You know, the film that means the most to me is 75 minutes long, and it probably cost $500,000 in today’s dollars. And you know, that’s Pickpocket. Pickpocket endures. I’m not interested in epics. I’m not interested in these huge historical projects. The kind of films I make, these male character studies, you can do for quite little, actually. A lot of the directors I know, including Marty, including DePalma, are enamored of the big toys. The major spectacle, the camera equipment, the extras. I was never really that interested.

Austin Dale: When people first saw First Reformed a couple years ago, I think a lot of people thought of it as sort of your final statement.

Paul Schrader: Well, it was. At the time I said, “I don’t know if I’ll make another film. I hope so. If I don’t, it’s a damn good last film.” Because it brought these two branches of my life together: the critical studies into transcendental style and the filmmaking that began with Taxi Driver. And so they merged, and there’s a sense of resolution and completeness.

But then I retired and became a caregiver, and this idea came to me. And I put it together the same way I did Blue Collar 40 years ago. I haven’t had much luck with the streamers. You know, First Reformed was turned down at the script stage and at the finished stage by Amazon and Netflix. My new film was turned down by Amazon and Netflix. It’s not a question of, you know, “They’ll do anything”. I’m still outside their system.

I have this film, and maybe I have another film. We’ll see. I had two TV series I loved, and I walked away from them. I told them, “Do what you want.” If they’re successful, that’s five or six years of the writer’s room, which is the idea killer, and I’ve only got five or six years left. I don’t want to spend that five or six years making compromises. Maybe I’ll make a handful of little edgy films, and I’ll make them for next to nothing. That seems to me much better than doing some high-price piece of junk.

Austin Dale: When you say that the writers room kills ideas, what do you mean exactly?

Paul Schrader: Well, I can imagine it being okay, if you’re doing Mel Brooks’ writer’s room. I have a number of friends who came up through that, because then you’re just a bunch of comics around the room throwing around one-liners and comic ideas. But when you’re talking about a serious narrative, then it’s just a level of compromise. If you’re Paul Thomas Anderson and you write Magnolia, and you put it through a writer's room, there ain't no Magnolia. There’s no frogs. There’s no “worship the cock". All of that has been worked out.

Austin Dale: I saw that you put First Reformed on your list of your favorite films of the decade.

Paul Schrader: Yeah. It wasn’t lightly done. But I think it is, as do some others. I put it up there as a critic, not as a filmmaker or as a Facebook person or whatever. I think it is. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in the future, but if I did, I would believe in the future of this film.

Austin Dale: When you say you don’t believe in the future, you’re talking about the world ending.

Paul Schrader: Not the world. Our species. The planet is going to be just fine. 500,000 years from now, it will be buzzing along just like it is now. But our gorilla brains have outlived their usefulness. We’re not gonna get out of this fix. A part of me is very curious to see what happens next, and another part of me is happy that I won’t have to. It’s 2020 now. In the next thirty years, we will be at another level of difficulty, with various versions of unliveability, between drought and climate refugees.

You’ve read Sapiens? It’s about five or six years old. Yuval Noah Harari. Big best seller. Really great smart. You read this book and you think, Oh, of course. He’s one of these guys who can put things together. Israeli, homosexual, went to Oxford, brilliant guy. I paid a hundred bucks to listen to him at a Times Talk. Sapiens is the history of intelligence from our planetary beginnings to the present. There’s no positivity in the book. Basically, it’s saying there are three horses of the apocalypse: Nuclear holocaust, climate collapse, and artificial intelligence. In some way, AI is the most appealing, because that is the natural form of evolution. That means we’ve evolved into a new synthetic species adapted to this world we created. They’re in a race to end our species. And the question is who gets to finish us off?
Everyone has a heart and it's calling for something
And we're all so sick and tired of seeing things as they are...


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #78 on: January 29, 2020, 06:25:42 PM
Sapiens is the history of intelligence from our planetary beginnings to the present. There’s no positivity in the book. Basically, it’s saying there are three horses of the apocalypse: Nuclear holocaust, climate collapse, and artificial intelligence. In some way, AI is the most appealing, because that is the natural form of evolution. That means we’ve evolved into a new synthetic species adapted to this world we created. They’re in a race to end our species. And the question is who gets to finish us off?

BLEAK. But true.

(I don't see AI as an evolution of humanity though.)
"Hunger is the purest sin"


©brad

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Reply #79 on: January 29, 2020, 09:22:18 PM
Damn he remains sharp as ever. He summed up the current movie industry better than anyone. I love how feisty he still is, still throwing punches. Also his Magnolia shoutout was awesome.

I wish the interview was longer. And he had a better interviewer.


eward

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Reply #80 on: January 29, 2020, 10:42:16 PM
Also his Magnolia shoutout was awesome.

Everyone has a heart and it's calling for something
And we're all so sick and tired of seeing things as they are...


wilberfan

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Reply #81 on: January 30, 2020, 10:11:34 PM
Paul Schrader Confirms Tiffany Haddish for Next Film, Says It’s ‘World Series of Poker’ Meets ‘Abu Ghraib’

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Writer/director Paul Schrader’s first movie since “First Reformed” is shaping up with an enviable cast, which now includes Tiffany Haddish, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker confirmed in a recent interview with The Metrograph. As previously announced, Oscar Isaac is set to lead the film currently titled “The Card Counter” as a gambler and ex-serviceman who tries to reform a young man looking to exact revenge on a mutual enemy. According to the interview with Schrader, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe are also on board and the film is financed. (It’s repped by HanWay Films.)


Regarding Haddish, the fast-rising star  who’s become a favorite of many an auteur, including Paul Thomas Anderson, Schrader said, “I love Tiffany. I’ve never met her, but I was on the phone with her for an hour. She’s a firecracker. It’s like talking to a live-wire connection. She’s very funny and, of course, she makes you funny. When someone’s sharp, that makes you get sharp because you want to keep up. So that’s all good.”
"Trying to fit in since 2017."


WorldForgot

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Reply #82 on: March 25, 2020, 11:14:27 AM
To borrow a phrase from The Parallax View's poster, Hardcore is as American as apple pie. Repressed conservatism given reign to to treat culture clash as aggressor. And the juxtaposition's asking you to consider both industrialized forms of expression. Steps toward repulsion on a spiritual journey. I'm assuming CC'z streaming the latest 4K restoration because it looked great, retaining the negative's texture.

Streaming on Criterion Channel for the rest of the month, on various VOD and available on blu-ray through Indicator.


jenkins

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Reply #83 on: March 28, 2020, 01:31:52 PM
^just like bare minimum he's the one who got to use the title Hardcore (nice)

i'm reading the Light Sleeper wiki page because i just watched it last night and want to talk about it. the wiki Paul Schrader page describes it as "the cult film Light Sleeper (1992)" compared to say "the crime drama Hardcore (a loosely autobiographical film also written by Schrader)" and "the crime drama American Gigolo (1980)" i'm not sure why it's the cult one

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Schrader has described the film as a "man and his room" story like American Gigolo and his most famous screenplay, Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver. In this film his character in dealing with anxiety over his life and the external forces that threaten it. Light Sleeper also shares with American Gigolo an ending reminiscent of Robert Bresson's Pickpocket, in which the imprisoned hero is shown contemplating a new and hopefully better existence.

totally

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In a 2005 interview, Schrader called Light Sleeper his most personal film and ranked it number 11 on his list of favourite films of the 1990s

that's a funny statement with his recent First Reformed ranking in mind. First Reformed is a better movie



i appreciate how Schrader is like, "okay i want to describe depression but i'll cast a beautiful actor" and he keeps doing that. in Light Sleeper Dafoe is a 40yo semi-recent-sober drug dealer insomniac who writes in his diary at night. he feels fucked the whole movie and wonders what's in his future, like usual what can save him is love


wilder

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Reply #84 on: April 22, 2020, 05:00:38 PM
Paul Schrader Explains The Story Of ‘The Card Counter’
via The Playlist

Vulture spoke with Schrader about the current status of his Oscar Isaac-starring film, “The Card Counter,” and what shape that film is currently in, as well as what the future of the industry might look like after the COVID-19 pandemic. Schrader discussed how he came about the idea for “The Card Counter.”

“I don’t give a damn about gambling. I don’t give a damn about boxing. I don’t give a damn about taxi driving,” he explained. “These are all just metaphors. What I try to [do] is if there is a problem that’s bothering me, then I try to find two concurrent metaphors. One metaphor may in fact be the problem. So the problem is loneliness, and the metaphor is the taxi cab. The problem is loss of faith, and the metaphor is climate collapse. The problem is midlife crisis, and the metaphor is a drug dealer.”

Schrader continued, “I find these two sorts of things that are sort of alike but not alike at all and run them alongside each other until sparks start jumping. So the two things on this one — I was worried about the problem of punishment. If you are truly guilty, is there any end to punishment? Can you ever be punished enough? This is a nice Calvinist problem, and we know the answer to it.”

As for how this process links back to “The Card Counter,” the filmmaker goes into the basic idea behind the film, which may surprise you based on the title, has only a little to do with gambling. In fact, a film about a gambler in the world of poker is more about military torture.

“I was looking at the World Series of Poker. I said, There is a blankness there. That is the blankest world. They’re just sitting there ten, 12 hours a day, running numbers through their heads just like slot players are,” the filmmaker said. “It’s a way to not exist and pretend you are existing. So what kind of person would choose that kind of occupation to not exist if he was under guilt? Then I said, Of course. There’s only one guilt sufficient in our times. It’s Abu Ghraib. My guy was one of the torturers. And not only one of them, he loved it. He was enjoying it, and he went to jail for eight years.”

When will audiences get to see “The Card Counter?” Well, Schrader says he’s about 80% done with filming and is actively working on the editing and other work behind-the-scenes (including securing Geoff Barrow of Portishead—who composed the music for “Ex Machina” and “Annihilation“—to score the film) during lockdown. So, he’s hoping to be ready by the fall. And since he thinks that the odds of Venice or TIFF happening this year are “iffy,” but he does have his heart set on one event.

“God knows I’d love to be in Telluride this fall,” he revealed, though ultimately he thinks Berlin 2021 is going to be the “first major festival” in a post-COVID-19 world.


WorldForgot

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Reply #85 on: June 18, 2020, 12:35:18 PM
The Card Counter "livestream" Q&A currently archived at HanwayFilms

Hand-made films, guilt, Dune, and Bruce Willis' contract.