3 items from 2015
Veteran director and screenwriter Paul Schrader will receive the San Francisco International Film Festival's Kanbar Award for storytelling. He will be honored alongside fellow Sfiff awardees Richard Gere and Guillermo del Toro on Film Society Awards Night, which goes down Monday, April 27 at The Armony on Mission Street. Schrader's long and storied career began with writing Sidney Pollack's 1974 "The Yakuza" before Martin Scorsese's Palme d'Or winner "Taxi Driver." As a director his films have included "American Gigolo," "Affliction," "Auto Focus, "Light of Day" and more recently "The Canyons," written by Bret Easton Ellis and starring Lindsay Lohan, and "The Dying of the Light," which the director washed his hands of after losing final cut. Read More: Warning: "Dying of the Light" Is Not a Paul Schrader Movie Paul Schrader will also be honored at An Evening with Paul Schrader at the Sundance »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Dying of the Light, 2014.
Written and Directed by Paul Schrader.
Burned out CIA operative Evan Lake (Nicolas Cage) is forced into early retirement due to a degenerative medical diagnosis. Aided by an up and coming field agent Milton Schultz (Anton Yelchin) he uses his limited time to track down an old adversary.
Given what has been made of the latest Cage-rage low budget effort in many quarters you could be forgiven for thinking this’ll be on a par with that The Wicker Man remake for overall- albeit hilarious- lameness.
In truth, it’s not quite as bad as all that. It’s just a bit weird really, with Schrader and the cast recently disowning the finished product and claiming something of a studio takeover from the creatives in control. »
- Robert W Monk
Paul Schrader’s latest directorial effort is a solemn CIA tale, with darker undercurrents lost in a woolly cut
Paul Schrader has a hell of a pedigree: screenplays for Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, a director’s filmography that includes gems like American Gigolo and Mishima, and an occasional sideline as an erudite film historian. But his career has languished in the doldrums of late, and his follow-up to The Canyons, his Lindsay Lohan–starring semi-succès de scandale, sees him coming a cropper. It’s an espionage thriller about a CIA man (Nicolas Cage) dashing from Bucharest to Mombasa in pursuit of the terrorist who tortured him years earlier. At one time mooted as a project for Drive man Nicolas Winding Refn, who now has an executive producer credit, the film was reportedly recut by its backers, with Schrader’s intended expressionistic colour scheme massaged down to a drab functionality. »
- Jonathan Romney
3 items from 2015
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