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Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader

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Also Known As: Paul Joseph Schrader Died:
Born: July 22, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, critic, film professor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Once called the best screenwriter never to be nominated for an Oscar, writer-director Paul Schrader emerged in the 1970s as one of American cinema's most compelling contributors, thanks in large part to his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese on some of the best movies ever made. After marking his writing debut with the underrated thriller "The Yakuza" (1975), Schrader wrote the dense and gritty "Taxi Driver" (1976) for Scorsese, creating arguably one of cinema's most memorable lead characters in Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). He went on to write "Obsession" (1977) for Brian De Palma before making an auspicious directorial debut with "Blue Collar" (1978). But Schrader saved his best for his second collaboration with Scorsese and De Niro, "Raging Bull" (1980), an unrelenting portrait of a man, Jake La Motta, gripped by unceasing violence. He also caused a small amount of controversy by directing "American Gigolo" (1980), but nothing compared to his third collaboration with Scorsese, "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), which outraged many Christian groups for its portrayal of Jesus making love to Mary Magdalene. Though his career fell off a bit in the 1990s, Schrader re-emerged in the...

Once called the best screenwriter never to be nominated for an Oscar, writer-director Paul Schrader emerged in the 1970s as one of American cinema's most compelling contributors, thanks in large part to his collaborations with director Martin Scorsese on some of the best movies ever made. After marking his writing debut with the underrated thriller "The Yakuza" (1975), Schrader wrote the dense and gritty "Taxi Driver" (1976) for Scorsese, creating arguably one of cinema's most memorable lead characters in Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro). He went on to write "Obsession" (1977) for Brian De Palma before making an auspicious directorial debut with "Blue Collar" (1978). But Schrader saved his best for his second collaboration with Scorsese and De Niro, "Raging Bull" (1980), an unrelenting portrait of a man, Jake La Motta, gripped by unceasing violence. He also caused a small amount of controversy by directing "American Gigolo" (1980), but nothing compared to his third collaboration with Scorsese, "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), which outraged many Christian groups for its portrayal of Jesus making love to Mary Magdalene. Though his career fell off a bit in the 1990s, Schrader re-emerged in the following decade with "Auto Focus" (2002), a sordid but compelling look at the sex addiction of sitcom star Bob Crane that helped underscore a career that delved into complex sexual mores and unflinchingly revealed the unseemly underbelly of American life.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
4.
  Walker, The (2007)
6.
  Auto Focus (2002) Director
7.
  Affliction (1997) Director
8.
  Touch (1997) Director
9.
  Witch Hunt (1994) Director
10.
  Light Sleeper (1992) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
 Hollywood Mavericks (1990) Himself
4.
 De Weg Naar Bresson (1984) Himself
5.
 Nick Nolte (1999) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1966:
While taking classes at Columbia University, introduced to Pauline Kael
1968:
Worked as a film critic for <i>Los Angeles Free Press</i> and as editor of critical journal at <i>Cinema</i>
:
Collaborated with brother Leonard on early drafts of script which would become "The Yakuza"
1975:
Screenwriting debut, "The Yakuza," co-written with Robert Towne
1976:
First collaboration with Martin Scorsese, "Taxi Driver"
1978:
Produced and co-wrote (with brother Leonard Schrader) "Old Boyfriends"
1978:
Directorial debut, "Blue Collar"; also co-wrote screenplay with brother
1979:
Wrote and directed "American Gigolo" starring Richard Gere
1980:
Co-wrote "Raging Bull"; second collaboration with Scorsese
1985:
With brother, co-wrote script for "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters"; also directed
1988:
First screen collaboration with Natasha Richardson, the biopic "Patty Hearst"
1988:
Wrote screenplay adaptation of the novel "The Last Temptation of Christ"; third collaboration with Martin Scorsese
1990:
Directed "The Comfort of Strangers," starring Natasha Richardson and Christopher Walken
1992:
Wrote and directed "Light Sleeper," starring Willem Dafoe and Dana Delaney
1997:
Adapted the Elmore Leonard novel "Touch"; also directed; earned Independent Spirit Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay
1997:
Wrote and directed "Affliction" starring Nick Nolte and Sissy Spacek; screened at the 1997 Venice Film Festival and the 1998 Sundance Film Festival (released theatrically in 1998)
1999:
Wrote and directed "Forever Mine," co-starring Joseph Finnes, Gretchen Mol and Ray Liotta
1999:
Contributed to the screenplay of old collaborator Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out the Dead"
2002:
Directed "Auto Focus," the true-life story of TV actor Bob Crane's kinky secret life and death
2003:
Directed a prequel film to "The Exorcist" (1973); the studio disliked the resulting film and had it re-shot under director Renny Harlin; it was released as "Exorcist: The Beginning" in 2004
2007:
Helmed the independent feature, "The Walker" starring Woody Harrelson and Kristin Scott Thomas; also scripted
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

AFI Conservatory: - 1969
Columbia University: New York , New York - 1966
Calvin College: Grand Rapids , Michigan - 1968
Calvin College: Grand Rapids , Michigan - 1968
AFI Conservatory: Los Angeles , California - 1969
Center For Advanced Film Studies, American Film Institute: - 1969
University of California, Los Angeles: Los Angeles , California - 1970

Notes

"I was raised a good Christian boy, and I don't think it's right to hustle people out of their money and not deliver. I don't have to make them filthy rich, but they should at least get their money back." --Paul Schrader quoted in Los Angeles Tiems, December 2, 1998.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jeannine Claudia Oppewall. Designer. Divorced in the early 1970s.
companion:
Beverly Walker. Publicist, actor. Together c. 1970-72.
companion:
Michelle Rappaport. Together from c. 1974 to c. 1981.
companion:
Nastassja Kinski. Actor. Had relationship during filming of "Cat People".
wife:
Mary Beth Hurt. Actor. Married in August 1983.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Charles A Schrader. Businessman. Calvinist; died in 1999.
mother:
Joan Schrader. Calvinist.
brother:
Leonard Schrader. Screenwriter, director. Born in fall 1944; has worked with brother on several films.
daughter:
Molly Schrader. Born c. 1984; mother, Mary Beth Hurt.
son:
Sam Schrader. Born c. 1988; mother, Mary Beth Hurt.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer" University of California Press

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