Paul Schrader is one of the most influential and important filmmakers of the last four decades. His work as a writer, director, and producer has helped to shape the course of American cinema, and his films have been the source of immense critical and popular acclaim.
Schrader was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1946. As a young man, he developed a passion for movies and began to write about them, first as a critic for the magazine Film Comment and later as a screenwriter in Hollywood. In the early 1970s, Schrader wrote the screenplays for two seminal films of the New Hollywood era, Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and Robert Altman’s “The Long Goodbye”.
In 1976, Schrader made his directorial debut with “Blue Collar”, a drama about the struggles of American workers. The film was a critical and commercial success, and Schrader went on to make a series of acclaimed and influential films in the 1980s, including “American Gigolo”, “Mishima”, and “The Last Temptation of Christ”.
In the 1990s, Schrader directed a series of more personal films, including “Patty Hearst”, “Light Sleeper”, and “Affliction”. These films were less successful commercially, but they were praised by critics for their uncompromising vision and for their exploration of complex themes and emotions.
More recently, Schrader has directed the films “The Walker” and “The Canyons”. While both of these films have been met with mixed reactions, they nevertheless demonstrate Schrader’s ongoing interest in exploring challenging and provocative material.
Schrader’s films are often characterized by their dark and intense atmosphere, their exploration of complex themes, and their use of powerful images and symbols. His work has been praised by critics for its intelligence and its uncompromising vision, and he is considered to be one of the most important and original filmmakers of his generation.