• the sordid sentinel

    American Gigolo..had the 80’s completely in a nutshell before they even began. Great movie.

  • Joshua Mooney

    Agreed, Jeff. First review I clicked on was “Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice” from ’69. From that point on, I knew I was in for some fine dining. His take on the Maysles and “Gimme Shelter” was compelling.

  • berg

    wasn’t Schrader fired from the LA Free Press for his review of Easy Rider?

  • Deathtongue_Groupie

    Only problem is, Schrader has major issues when it comes to dealing with human sexuality. It’s one thing to make a movie or two that has repressed, mentally deficient characters (TAXI DRIVER, HARD CORE). But an entire career that puts out the idea that sex is ugly, immoral and shameful is repellent on so many levels.

    AUTO FOCUS could have been a tragedy about how Bob Crane found himself adrift when the societal restrictions that shaped him in the 40’s & 50’s were obliterated in the 60’s & 70’s. But not in Schrader’s eyes – Crane sinned and the wages of sin are death.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    I agree with almost all of what you wrote, DtG, but — characters with sexuality problems littered over his filmography– doesn’t that begin to make the case for him as an interesting auteur?

    I don’t know. I don’t believe you have to always agree with a filmmaker’s specific positions on issues in order to appreciate the questions they provoke throughout their work.

  • Anthony Thorne

    I remember reading a book of interviews with cinematographers, and the DOP of Schrader’s HARDCORE – I forget his name – noted how disappointed he was that Schrader watered down his original premise of the movie, which was intended to be way more explicit at every stage. Oh well…

    I like Schrader’s films, interviews and articles, but I’ve always found it funny (a.) seeing the TAXI DRIVER making-of doco, where Schrader emphasizes on camera that he took an underage hooker back to his room solely for verbal research, and (b.) reading in EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS about his drunken, drug-fuelled, sleazy treatment of Nastassia Kinski during the CAT PEOPLE shoot, capped off with the report of him spending a nice afternoon playing Russian roulette in a Jacuzzi.

  • That’s an interesting point you make about AUTO FOCUS, DeathTongue, but one aspect of the film I do give Schrader a lot of credit for is his handling of John Carpenter (the one suspected of murdering Crane), or at least of Willem Dafoe’s performance in that role. In the Bob Graysmith book this was based on (and I think Graysmith was a lot more unforgiving towards Crane than Schrader was), Carpenter was pretty much a creep, where in the movie, you actually felt sorry for the guy, and the film doesn’t judge his latent homosexual feelings for Crane.

  • Glenn Kenny

    Yes, Schrader’s take on “Gimme Shelter” was compelling, but a big part of it was predicated on a major factual error. He accuses the Maysles of jumbling chronology in order to create fake suspense, asserting that Altamont occurred in the middle of the Stones’ 1969 tour of the States. No: the tour had ended, Altamont was gonna be the capper, the Stones’ own Woodstock.

    Schrader’s outrage on behalf of Tina Turner is quite fascinating though. I always thought that scene in the film made Jagger look really, really bad.

    A. Thorne, don’t take this the wrong way, but certain components of your sense of humor make me hope very hard that you don’t work in anything even vaguely resembling a rehab facility!

  • Joshua Mooney

    You’re so correct, Glenn Kenny, about Schrader’s major error about the chronology of the Stones’ shows culminating at Altamont. Lleapt out at my when I read his review on his site a few months back. That truly is an unforgivable misque on his part and calls in to question at least some of his comments.

  • googs

    @ LipRanzer so true. i also give a lot of credit to Dafoe. It was criminal that he wasn’t nominated for Auto Focus and Last Temptation. Two Schrader films I guarantee I wouldn’t like as much had it not been for Dafoe’s incredible performances.

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  • lazespud

    I caught Mishima for the first time in 20 years yesterday when it popped up on Netflix on-demand. Wow; that thing really holds up. Many of his films feel a bit too esoteric for me, but not that one…

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