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Kevin H
08-07-2010, 10:31 PM
Schrader has an interesting filmography...but let's narrow the focus to the films he's directed. Which is your favorite?

Shane K
08-07-2010, 10:40 PM
1. Hardcore

2. Blue Collar

3. Auto Focus

Alex K.
08-07-2010, 10:41 PM
Hardcore very closely followed by Blue Collar, that is if I absolutely have to vote and my preference for George C. Scott. But really Blue Collar is just as good, and features some amazing performances. I didn't think much of Auto Focus and the others, but I have Mishima somewhere and I need to see it.

Honorable mention for Rolling Thunder (which he wrote).

Matthew BB
08-07-2010, 10:54 PM
There are some moments that don't always work and even border on cringe-inducing in a number of his films. Having said that, Schrader is probably my favorite filmmaker/screenwriter. At least that's what I've been telling people for the last 10 years.

1. BLUE COLLAR
2. MISHIMA
3. AMERICAN GIGOLO

I don't hear many people mention THE WALKER. Not great, but definitely worth checking out. I think he considered it the finale of his "lonely men in their room" series.

Randy Thomas G
08-07-2010, 10:59 PM
1. Affliction
2. Blue Collar
3. Mishima

As much as I like Hardcore the film is too seriously flawed and ridiculous to put in his top films, imo.

cworkman
08-08-2010, 10:34 AM
I've seen a very limited number of Schrader's films and don't really like any of them, so I can't really vote.

That said, there are still quite a few of his films I need to see, and maybe I'll like one of those. But as it stands, his work has that feel of trying too hard to shock and losing something in the process.

Ray Kanne
08-08-2010, 11:26 AM
Affliction. Like Carpenter in the other poll I like most of Schraders work too.

David F
08-08-2010, 01:19 PM
Mishima
Mishima
Mishima
Mishima

Have I mentioned "Mishima" yet?

Guillaume P
08-08-2010, 01:34 PM
Cat People.

Emanuele Sheriff
08-08-2010, 05:59 PM
I thought Blue Collar was a very powerful film with great acting. I've always found Hardcore overrated though I like George C. Scott and the underused (and cute) Season Hubley. Mishima was beautiful to watch but I dislike the main character (yes I know it's a biography,of sorts).

Al Edwards
08-08-2010, 09:47 PM
1.Blue Collar
2.Affliction
3.Cat People

Kevin H
08-08-2010, 10:41 PM
1 Auto Focus
2 Mishima
3 Dominion
4 Cat People
5 Blue Collar

Ryan T.
08-09-2010, 02:20 AM
Hardcore
Blue Collar
American Gigolo

Paul A J Lewis
08-09-2010, 05:40 AM
I'm a really big fan of Paul Schrader and like most of his films. I found it tough to choose between AFFLICTION, LIGHT SLEEPER and BLUE COLLAR but ultimately chose BLUE COLLAR.

Randy Thomas G
08-09-2010, 12:15 PM
I think his PATTY HEARST film is underrated, not in my top three but a very good film.

Steve R
08-09-2010, 02:03 PM
Honestly I think he's a much, much better writer.

Taxi Driver at the top.

Rolling Thunder. I used to think that every film he wrote had a character who had a scene where they did push ups, even down to Richard Pryor's fornicating crawling push up bit in Blue Collar.

RichardDoyle
08-09-2010, 04:09 PM
I love Schrader ... I even really like his lesser films like "American Gigolo" and "Light of Day".

1. Affliction
2. Mishima
3. Blue Collar

Matthew BB
08-09-2010, 07:54 PM
I think his PATTY HEARST film is underrated, not in my top three but a very good film.

This one is the only directorial effort by him that I haven't seen. For some reason, I always forget that it exists. Definitely going to seek it out now! ;)

Matthew BB
08-09-2010, 08:17 PM
I love Schrader ... I even really like his lesser films like "American Gigolo" and "Light of Day".

Glad to see that you're a big Schrader fan. I personally don't think those 2 titles are examples of his lesser films. That would be something like WITCH HUNT...which isn't that bad. I think it was his only hired gun job.

The one I remember not liking is TOUCH, but I saw it years ago. I don't know if I genuinely thought it was bad, or if it wasn't as Schrader-esque as I wanted it to be. :o

I forgot to mention another underrated one: THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS. The ending may be a bit too easy and predictable, but I really like Walken in it and I found it to be an understated film overall.

Shane K
08-09-2010, 10:28 PM
This one is the only directorial effort by him that I haven't seen. For some reason, I always forget that it exists. Definitely going to seek it out now! ;)

Check your local cable listings. Amazingly enough, it shows up quite frequently.

Matthew BB
08-09-2010, 11:28 PM
Check your local cable listings. Amazingly enough, it shows up quite frequently.

Good thinking, I'll keep an eye out for it!

Jonathan H.
08-10-2010, 02:00 PM
As director, there are quite a few I haven't seen, MISHIMA probably being the biggest void in my viewing.

From what I've seen:

1. BLUE COLLAR
2. AFFLICTION
3. AMERICAN GIGOLO

CAT PEOPLE and HARDCORE round out my top 5.

Shane K
08-10-2010, 02:37 PM
Good thinking, I'll keep an eye out for it!

In case you didn't check yet, IndiePlex is airing it on Tuesday, 8/17 @ 9PM.

RichardDoyle
08-10-2010, 04:32 PM
Glad to see that you're a big Schrader fan. I personally don't think those 2 titles are examples of his lesser films. That would be something like WITCH HUNT...which isn't that bad. I think it was his only hired gun job.

The one I remember not liking is TOUCH, but I saw it years ago. I don't know if I genuinely thought it was bad, or if it wasn't as Schrader-esque as I wanted it to be. :o

I forgot to mention another underrated one: THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS. The ending may be a bit too easy and predictable, but I really like Walken in it and I found it to be an understated film overall.

My father was a very big man. And all his life he wore a black mustache. When it was no longer black, he used a small brush, such as ladies use for their eyes. Mascara.

Matthew BB
08-10-2010, 06:08 PM
AMERICAN GIGOLO

Not to keep pimping AMERICAN GIGOLO ( :D ), but I think that some of the ominous pieces from the Moroder score are just as unsettling as some of Nitzsche's work in HARDCORE.



In case you didn't check yet, IndiePlex is airing it on Tuesday, 8/17 @ 9PM.

Once again, thank you Shane! I don't get this, but think I know someone who does. Even if this is more of a poll thread, I'll come back here and let everyone know how I like it.


My father was a very big man. And all his life he wore a black mustache. When it was no longer black, he used a small brush, such as ladies use for their eyes. Mascara.

Unforgettable. Good choice, man!

Jonathan H.
08-10-2010, 07:55 PM
Not to keep pimping AMERICAN GIGOLO ( :D ), but I think that some of the ominous pieces from the Moroder score are just as unsettling as some of Nitzsche's work in HARDCORE.

Love Moroder's AMERICAN GIGOLO score. As with most of his soundtracks, I wish the LPs contained the music as it appeared in the film; most are re-recordings. Agreed on the music's ominous tone (apart from the "Call Me" iterations); there are similar scenes in both films of our main characters driving around seedy parts of town with dark, disco music underscoring these moments. These are the bits I will often revisit rather than the entire films themselves.

Matthew BB
08-10-2010, 11:02 PM
...there are similar scenes in both films of our main characters driving around seedy parts of town with dark, disco music underscoring these moments. These are the bits I will often revisit rather than the entire films themselves.

I love these moments, and I've done the same exact thing (that is, revisit those scenes by themselves). Once in a while, I'll do the same for the car chase with Keitel and the Kotto spray paint scene in BLUE COLLAR. They're incredibly powerful anyway, but what make them work even more are the sound effects and Nitzsche's minimal, eerie touch.

Jonathan H.
08-11-2010, 10:54 AM
I love these moments, and I've done the same exact thing (that is, revisit those scenes by themselves). Once in a while, I'll do the same for the car chase with Keitel and the Kotto spray paint scene in BLUE COLLAR. They're incredibly powerful anyway, but what make them work even more are the sound effects and Nitzsche's minimal, eerie touch.

Yes, even though I haven't watched BLUE COLLAR or either of those scenes in a few years at least, my vivid recollections of each came back to me as I was reading your post. Kotto's death scene is truly harrowing and, I imagine, quite shocking to many viewers lulled by the comic shenanigans of the first part of the film. Keitel's drive through darkened Detroit industrial locations is almost equally traumatic. Damn...I need to watch that again.

The voting might not reflect it here, but I think BLUE COLLAR stands as one of the best of the '70s and that era's cycle of "paranoia" films, not only one of the best Schrader films. I can't really call any of the others (that he has directed) best of their era.

Because of this discussion, I pulled out my DVD of AMERICAN GIGOLO (with original cover and not the regrettable "I Love the '80s" one) and watched in its entirety into the early morning hours. Even though it's 30 years old (actually filmed in '79), a lot of it still looks pretty stylish...I think because so much of the fashions (particularly Gere's ultra-chic wardrobe) and architecture showcased in the film have had something of a renaissance in the last several years.

For another great driving scene with unsettling Nitzsche score / sound effects, look no further than Joe Spinell and Mike Starr driving their squad car down a West Village block teeming with gay men on the prowl, all shown in slo-mo, in CRUISING.

Matthew BB
08-11-2010, 09:37 PM
Yes, even though I haven't watched BLUE COLLAR or either of those scenes in a few years at least, my vivid recollections of each came back to me as I was reading your post. Kotto's death scene is truly harrowing and, I imagine, quite shocking to many viewers lulled by the comic shenanigans of the first part of the film. Keitel's drive through darkened Detroit industrial locations is almost equally traumatic. Damn...I need to watch that again.

The voting might not reflect it here, but I think BLUE COLLAR stands as one of the best of the '70s and that era's cycle of "paranoia" films, not only one of the best Schrader films. I can't really call any of the others (that he has directed) best of their era.

Because of this discussion, I pulled out my DVD of AMERICAN GIGOLO (with original cover and not the regrettable "I Love the '80s" one) and watched in its entirety into the early morning hours. Even though it's 30 years old (actually filmed in '79), a lot of it still looks pretty stylish...I think because so much of the fashions (particularly Gere's ultra-chic wardrobe) and architecture showcased in the film have had something of a renaissance in the last several years.

For another great driving scene with unsettling Nitzsche score / sound effects, look no further than Joe Spinell and Mike Starr driving their squad car down a West Village block teeming with gay men on the prowl, all shown in slo-mo, in CRUISING.

Agreed on all counts, and I'm glad you mentioned the feel of that early scene in CRUISING.

I definitely think that Schrader's work as a director up to CAT PEOPLE all make for great late night/early morning viewing.

I remember Schrader briefly discussing the fashion and set design of AMERICAN GIGOLO in the 'Schrader on Schrader' book. I believe he does offer the suggestion that the chic qualities in the film will have a prominent cultural impact in the years to come. I've always been interested in the placement of the GIGOLO poster in Aaron Eckhart's apartment in LaBute's IN THE COMPANY OF MEN. In my view, that film arrived (1997) shortly before the stylistic "renaissance". I think LaBute himself was on to something there...and he obviously saw a relationship between style, success, and sadism.

That's not to say that looking good and being an excellent dresser always means soulless monster. :D

Alfred Chamberlain
08-11-2010, 11:35 PM
Haven't seen them all, so it'd be wrong of me to vote, but Blue Collar is the one. I actually really disliked Hardcore. For me had a heavy made-for-TV vibe.

Jonathan H.
08-12-2010, 03:04 PM
Agreed on all counts, and I'm glad you mentioned the feel of that early scene in CRUISING.

I definitely think that Schrader's work as a director up to CAT PEOPLE all make for great late night/early morning viewing.

I remember Schrader briefly discussing the fashion and set design of AMERICAN GIGOLO in the 'Schrader on Schrader' book. I believe he does offer the suggestion that the chic qualities in the film will have a prominent cultural impact in the years to come. I've always been interested in the placement of the GIGOLO poster in Aaron Eckhart's apartment in LaBute's IN THE COMPANY OF MEN. In my view, that film arrived (1997) shortly before the stylistic "renaissance". I think LaBute himself was on to something there...and he obviously saw a relationship between style, success, and sadism.

That's not to say that looking good and being an excellent dresser always means soulless monster. :D

Yes, I've read that interview with Schrader in SCHRADER ON SCHRADER several times. Good stuff. The insistence on cutting-edge design and music, heavy on the Italian influence, paid off...this movie still looks and sounds really good.

Hadn't thought about an IN THE COMPANY OF MEN / AMERICAN GIGOLO parallel. Of course, I missed the former in '97, upon its release, and still haven't caught up with it so I can't really comment further.

It is interesting that Schrader's THE WALKER was originally intended as a straight sequel to AMERICAN GIGOLO with Julian Kay fully out of the closet. Even though the biggest homophobes are often homos themselves, I didn't think of Gere's Kay that way, even though he does make several anti-gay comments in AMERICAN GIGOLO. He seemed, to me, to be a metrosexual before the term existed. Schrader's making him unequivocally gay, rather than possibly gay, reminds me of Ridley Scott imposing his belief of Deckard as replicant onto the narrative of BLADE RUNNER in his subsequent director's cuts. It's much more interesting, I think, to keep the ambiguity alive and leave room for multiple interpretations. I wouldn't be surprised if Gere refused to do THE WALKER (as sequel to AG) because of Schrader's insistence that the character be gay.

Ian Z.
08-12-2010, 05:03 PM
I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the films he has directed that I have seen.

My favorite would likely be Affliction followed by Hardcore, but they may switch once I see Hardcore a second time.

Blue Collar, Cat People and Auto Focus really did very little for me. Decent enough films, but nothing I feel the need to rewatch.

Troy Howarth
08-12-2010, 06:06 PM
I'm not a huge fan based on what I've seen, but this thread did convince me to order Hardcore and Blue Collar. I liked Affliction a lot, however, and Cat People has its merits. I didn't care for Auto Focus, though, and his much trumpeted original cut of Dominion - though better than the film released theatrically - didn't do much for me, either.

David F
08-12-2010, 06:30 PM
Mishima
Mishima
Mishima
Mishima

Have I mentioned "Mishima" yet?

I would like to add...

Mishima
Mishima
Mishima
Mishima
Mishima

And oh yes, "Mishima."

Matthew BB
08-12-2010, 10:48 PM
It is interesting that Schrader's THE WALKER was originally intended as a straight sequel to AMERICAN GIGOLO with Julian Kay fully out of the closet. Even though the biggest homophobes are often homos themselves, I didn't think of Gere's Kay that way, even though he does make several anti-gay comments in AMERICAN GIGOLO. He seemed, to me, to be a metrosexual before the term existed. Schrader's making him unequivocally gay, rather than possibly gay, reminds me of Ridley Scott imposing his belief of Deckard as replicant onto the narrative of BLADE RUNNER in his subsequent director's cuts. It's much more interesting, I think, to keep the ambiguity alive and leave room for multiple interpretations. I wouldn't be surprised if Gere refused to do THE WALKER (as sequel to AG) because of Schrader's insistence that the character be gay.

You know, I was out of the loop with what was going on with Schrader after the DOMINION fiasco, so the very existence of THE WALKER took me by surprise when I stumbled across a review in I think Film Comment. I would have guessed that Gere had turned it down because it wasn't high-profile enough. THE WALKER is good, but it seems like a very small film; I think it went direct to dvd. But that's an interesting suggestion on your part. I feel that it was smarter overall for Schrader to go in a slightly different direction than an official sequel, especially for your reasoning.


I'm not a huge fan based on what I've seen, but this thread did convince me to order Hardcore and Blue Collar.

All I have to say is Cool.

Daniel M
08-26-2010, 02:45 PM
I'm reading Gary (THE HOWLING) Brandner's novelization CAT PEOPLE.

As is sometimes the case with novelizations, there's an abundance of material here that didn't make it into Schrader's film.

Whether it is material that was subsequently cut from the script and/or movie or just all Gary's invention, I don't know, but there's actually a pretty coherent story at work here...