Cinema Partenio | sala 1 | 6pm
Director and screenwriter Paul Joseph Schrader was born in 1946, in Grand Rapids, Michigan to a strict Dutch Calvinist family. He has written and directed over thirty films. He earned his BA from Calvin College, then his M.A. from UCLA Film School. He subsequently attended the inaugural class at the American Film Institute. After his debut as a film critic with a book that is still studied today (Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer), he burst onto the film scene with his innovative scripts, leaving a lasting mark on movies by directors such as Sidney Pollack (The Yakuza, 1974) and Brian De Palma (Obsession, 1976), including four collaborations with Martin Scorsese: Taxi Driver – which won the Palme d’Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture – Raging Bull (1980), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) – which premiered at the 1988 Venice Film Festival – and Bringing Out the Dead (1999). Without giving up his activity as a screenwriter, he made his film-making debut with the drama Blue Collar (1978) – starring Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, based on a screenplay he co-wrote with his brother Leonard, on car factory workers attempting to escape their socio-economic rut through theft and blackmail – started his career as a director halfway between research and experimentation. Later in 1978, Schrader wrote and directed the loosely autobiographical film Hardcore, starring George C. Scott, followed by the acclaimed crime drama American Gigolo (1980), starring Richard Gere, and the well received critically horror remake Cat People (1982), starring Nastassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell. The biographical drama Mishima. A Life in Four Chapters (1985), inspired by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, interweaves episodes from Mishima’s life with dramatizations of segments from his books. Mishima was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival with Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas as executive producers. His 1990s work included the travelers-in-Venice tale The Comfort of Strangers (1990), adapted by Harold Pinter from the Ian McEwan novel, and Light Sleeper (1992), a sympathetic story of a drug dealer struggling for a normal life. In 2005 Schrader described Light Sleeper as his “most personal” film. In 1998, Schrader won critical acclaim for the drama Affliction. The film is the story of a troubled small-town policeman (Nick Nolte), who becomes obsessed with solving the mystery behind a fatal hunting accident. Schrader’s script was based on the novel by Russell Banks. The film was nominated for multiple awards including two Academy Awards for acting (for Nolte and James Coburn). In 2019, Schrader was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the dramatic thriller First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, which Schrader also directed, premiered at the 2017 Venice Film Festival and which received critical acclaim. In 2021, Schrader directed the crime drama The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish, also premiered at the 2021 Venice Film Festival and widely lauded by critics. In 2022 he received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Film Festival, presenting on that occasion Master Gardener (Out of Competition). He is currently working on the post-production on his latest film, Oh Canada, based on Foregone by Russell Banks, starring Richard Gere, Jacob Elordi, and Uma Thurman.