Paul Schrader

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dda1996a
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Re: Paul Schrader

#51 Post by dda1996a » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:23 am

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:44 pm
DarkImbecile wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 11:53 am
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Inspired by Schrader's chart, which is most interesting in many ways, I've designed a Durational Cinema Map of my own with a few changes and keeping the gist of it. Some auteurs I didn't know I've omitted, and I added others to map out the tendencies of "contemplative cinema" today and in the past. I kept the center of classical narration, and added 3 new directions (which are not endpoints/deadends but waypoint to the future of cinema). I also lost the "Tarkovsky Ring" which refers to the USA market. Most of the auteurs outside the ring are arthouse favourites (not art gallery guests). Thus I divided the map in concentric circles to show evolution of the non-narrative cinema from Neorealismo, to Modern Cinema, to Contemplative Cinema (since the 70ies onward). These aren't properly chronological eras, more like stylistic steps on an evolution course from Classicism to Contemplative Cinema.
It's tough to plot each auteur at the "right" place, sometimes they fit in more than one area, sometimes it's hard to pinpoint even one location, but I wanted to figure the most representative of "slower cinema". This vague placement delineates certain proximities/filiation/succession by creating peculiar families in one area of the map and others seem so far apart.
In the end, I trust more the radial genealogy (from Neorealismo to CCC) than the random connections between waypoints/quadrants. The full circle doesn't really work. Schrader was more prudent to avoid connecting the dots...
I wonder if Paul Schrader would like this map.
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Image from Unspoken Cinema
I like your graph, even though I contest to the surrealism and documentary sections (and Benning appears twice).
I haven't seen a Tsai film yet, but having just read the introduction in the book, in the surveillance section he uses the example of Van Sant's death trilogy, which I guess makes more sense. Still no clue as to whether Tsai fits or not though.

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: Paul Schrader

#52 Post by BenoitRouilly » Mon Jul 16, 2018 7:22 am

Thank you. Benning is not the only one with two locations on the map... ;)
Schrader : All realistic non-narrative films vector the same direction. The more pure they become, the less editorial, the more objective they are; the more they resemble the surveillance camera. That is the end point of Bazin's "objective reality." The unending, all-seeing eye of the closed-circuit camera. "Pure cinema."
The quotidian, the ordinary I agree for the surveillance camera. But Schrader also lumps in with Surveillance camera : the "walking" film, and the "anthropological" which are more subjective and emotional than a CCTV cam. GVS's Death Trilogy fits with the "walking" film.

The "Surréalisme" waypoint is not the textbook manifesto, it's more a quadrant of oneiric, dreamlike, mannerist, baroque, symbolist, impressionist kind of contemplative cinema. Which is at the opposite of Bazin's "Realism", so it's contemplative but not in a real world aspect.

The "Documentary" waypoint represents the non-fiction side of contemplative cinema. Many auteurs are making proper documentaries with the Contemplative Cinema conventions. But they are documentarists

Tsai is wonderful (a pity he quited cinema making). To start I recommend "What Time Is It There?" (2001)
Last edited by BenoitRouilly on Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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colinr0380
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Re: Paul Schrader

#53 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:04 pm

I would also recommend the films of Tsai Ming-liang. It seems that he has shifted focus somewhat over the course of his films, especially the contrast between his Walker films, where the staged action seems meant to contrast against the natural surroundings into which the monk has been placed, and his 'final' film Stray Dogs, where there are moments of that but then the camera moves in close to a face. So close that all surroundings are blotted out and we just see the effect of duration on the emotions passing across a face. Or characters stop in static tableaus for minutes at a time and rather than having 'normal speed' surroundings to contrast against we are left with the tiniest movements to analyse at that point. There is a kind of surrealism that arises from that too.

Something I am curious about is the "Tableau/Surrealisme/Art Gallery" intersection. I guess we could touch upon Buñuel or Rene Clair's fantastic Entre'acte, though it seems that the early surrealist films moved towards fast motion and linking edits for their effect and meaning to come through (much like the classic comedians!). Later on in his career Buñuel seemed to move towards longer sequences within his films (I am thinking especially of the soldier's recounting of his dream in Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie), but was still making films edited in a more conventional style within which to place surrealist elements.

The question that I have is whether 'contemplative cinema' and longer duration shots have led towards more surrealist elements appearing, as in the films of Roy Anderssen (or Phillip Ridley). Where the surrealism is not being caused so much by a camera trick or an edit, but instead the slow shifting of elements within a long held shot, or the appearance of an unexpected element is becoming the new surrealist train, such as the creature in Weerastehakul's film Uncle Boomee, or the scene with the windfarms in Dumont's Twentynine Palms (a film in which every human element and interaction feels surreal, or at least faintly absurdist, set against an ancient landscape).

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: Paul Schrader

#54 Post by BenoitRouilly » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:45 pm

You're right, Entr'acte is fast-paced and Buñuel is less non-narrative than Contemplative filmmakers.
But I see more (contemplative) surréalisme in Ruiz (Le temps retrouvé), Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain) or Chytilova (Daisies) while developping the long takes, the silent treatment and the lack of plot (yet remaining precursor to today's Contemplative Cinema). Matthew Barney (His Cremaster Cycle; Drawing Restraint 9) is also a great example (well into the Contemporary Contemplative Cinema aesthetics) but he gravitates toward gallery installations.

I agree there is absurdist mise en scène in Andersson, yet he's pretty much a hyper-realist (apart from the make up and set design maybe). He's between the quirk of so-called "surréalisme" and the careful/obsessionnal frame design of tableaux.
However I would say this tendency toward "sur-realism" is rather slim in Contemplative Cinema. As we can see on the map which is top-heavy (unless I'm forgeting major names).

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: Paul Schrader

#55 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:15 am

New interview of Paul Schrader at Filmmaker Magazine (July 31st, 2018):
Committed to Paper: Writer/Director Paul Schrader on First Reformed
You know, it all starts with neorealism. And it starts with that famous shot that both Bazin and Deleuze talk about. The maid wakes up in the morning and goes over to light the stove to make some coffee. She gets a match out and strikes it, and it doesn’t light. She strikes it again. It lights, but the match goes out. She gets another match, she strikes it, it stays on, and she lights the stove. And Bazin was saying, “This is what is radical here—the use of time, real time.” Everything we’ve been doing [in classical cinema] is to tighten time. And now, time is starting to become the subject—you know, what happens. So, it starts with [the maid] and then she becomes Jeanne Dielman.

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whaleallright
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Re: Paul Schrader

#56 Post by whaleallright » Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:38 am

Never let it be said that Paul Schrader will refuse an interview request!

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paul Schrader

#57 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:11 am

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Paul Schrader

#58 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:59 am

The fucking master of bad takes! I just listened to the commentary for Blue Collar a few weeks ago and it has aged like tomato left on a shelf for a decade. I love his films, but the man himself loves to say some koo koo things.

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Big Ben
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Re: Paul Schrader

#59 Post by Big Ben » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:03 am

I don't even know what to say. I understand everything he's written but I cannot comprehend how he's arrived at the idea that this would work in this environment. Independent of who and who shouldn't come back does he really not realize what he's written?

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domino harvey
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Re: Paul Schrader

#60 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:09 am

Strong momentum this week for First Reformed, with Oscar odds looking better every day, and this is the moment he wants to speak out on this? Schrader is of course welcome to cast whoever he wants and say whatever he wants and may not care at all about being Oscar-nominated, I just think his agent is probably committing suicide as we speak

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bearcuborg
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Re: Paul Schrader

#61 Post by bearcuborg » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:12 am

I want to see that movie.

*The Spacey movie
Last edited by bearcuborg on Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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david hare
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Re: Paul Schrader

#62 Post by david hare » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:24 am

I consider it a masterpiece. And thanks to social media I could tell him so.

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Altair
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Re: Paul Schrader

#63 Post by Altair » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:19 am

Following Schrader on Facebook, I'm pretty sure he really doesn't care about Hollywood or the Oscars, only about making his next film (and even then, clearly on his own terms). So maybe he's having a little fun with people (i.e. produces, agents, execs) here by deliberately provoking them.

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knives
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Re: Paul Schrader

#64 Post by knives » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:39 am

Obviously what he's saying is not of the moment, but I don't think he's wrong on the gist of his argument.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Paul Schrader

#65 Post by hearthesilence » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:15 am

Altair wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:19 am
Following Schrader on Facebook, I'm pretty sure he really doesn't care about Hollywood or the Oscars, only about making his next film (and even then, clearly on his own terms). So maybe he's having a little fun with people (i.e. produces, agents, execs) here by deliberately provoking them.
Pretty much. I doubt he's given much thought, if any, to his odds at the Oscars.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paul Schrader

#66 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:06 pm

Big Oscar fan chiming in to say I'd also be incredibly shocked if Schrader gives a flying fuck about losing a bunch of Oscars for First Reformed to some middling crowdpleaser like Green Book or pablum like The Favourite. Not because he's just such a badass or anything, but because there's not a molecule of Oscar hopeful in that film and it would be a totally unexpected outcome to everyone involved if it's nominated

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domino harvey
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Re: Paul Schrader

#67 Post by domino harvey » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:15 pm

It's sweeping up at critics awards, it's this year's passion pick and there is a strong chance it shows up in Best Picture at this point, along with Hawke in Best Actor and Schrader for Best Screenplay-- though I doubt anyone thinks it will win any of these, it would still be more unexpected for the noms to not happen

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paul Schrader

#68 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:23 pm

Oh, it's awesome to see as someone who considers it one of the tippy-top films of this decade, but I just doubt that Schrader cares beyond what it might contribute to the ease of getting films made, and perhaps not even that considering that he's still clearly going his own way

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whaleallright
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Re: Paul Schrader

#69 Post by whaleallright » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:46 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:11 am
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But how is Kevin Spacey going to make a movie from jail? Or maybe the "very very very good" script is a remake of A Man Escaped?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paul Schrader

#70 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:50 pm

Thousand Oaks, CA is a little bit dull, but I'd hardly describe it as jail

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whaleallright
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Re: Paul Schrader

#71 Post by whaleallright » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:58 pm

The implication of Schrader's post is that we should put bad men, but not their "art," in jail—or punish them somehow—but then seems to object to the idea that anyone should not want to give Spacey work. I think I agree with a kernel of what he seems to want to be saying, but the actual post is incoherent. Which is par for the course for Schrader, who is a better filmmaker than an internet troll. (I happen to think much of his writing on cinema amounts to trolling, too, or at least suggests a mild case of the Dunning-Kruger effect.)

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swo17
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Re: Paul Schrader

#72 Post by swo17 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:03 pm

He just means if he deserves to be in jail then put him in jail, but while he's out of jail let him be in movies

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whaleallright
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Re: Paul Schrader

#73 Post by whaleallright » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:13 pm

That we need to provide a gloss on it suggests the post was, if not incoherent, then maybe just poorly formed.

And of course there's the issue of people doing awful things and going unpunished because of the nature of our justice system. Maybe he should cast Alan Dershowitz in his next film.

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Brian C
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Re: Paul Schrader

#74 Post by Brian C » Fri Nov 30, 2018 2:38 pm

What gloss? You seem to be the only one having trouble figuring out what he meant.

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whaleallright
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Re: Paul Schrader

#75 Post by whaleallright » Fri Nov 30, 2018 3:34 pm

Read literally, he seems to be confusing censoring artworks with not giving Spacey a job -- a form of putatively collective versus personal punishment. Censorsing Wilde's work is not equivalent to not casting Spacey. Perhaps if we were to banish American Beauty (a bad idea in principle, not such a bad one in practice) there would be an equivalence.

The reason I say this is incoherent is beause, frankly, it is. Nobody is obligated to cast anyone, and people have been blackballed for much less than Spacey, with little comment from Schrader or anyone else. Where I would, I imagine, agree with Schrader is that it wouldn't be any kind of gross ethical violation were Spacey to be cast in something.

Who knows? Maybe Schrader will get to cast Spacey in a film (he could probably afford him now), and I'd watch it on a double feature with Dragged Across Concrete.

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