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Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader

Birthday: 22 July 1946, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Birth Name: Paul Joseph Schrader
Height: 173 cm

Although his name is often linked to that of the "movie brat" generation (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, etc.) Paul Schrader's ba ...Show More

Paul Schrader
Other college kids had to vandalize government buildings. All we had to do to rebel was go to movies Show more Other college kids had to vandalize government buildings. All we had to do to rebel was go to movies. Hide
As screenwriters, we struggle with our own success. We have wallpapered our world and now we can't g Show more As screenwriters, we struggle with our own success. We have wallpapered our world and now we can't get anyone to notice the picture we just hung. Hide
When screenwriting, be prepared to drop your pants and show your dirty laundry. If you can't do that Show more When screenwriting, be prepared to drop your pants and show your dirty laundry. If you can't do that, better find yourself something more polite. Hide
[on the character of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)] When I set out to write the script I thoug Show more [on the character of Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver (1976)] When I set out to write the script I thought it was about loneliness. As I wrote it I realized it was about something a little different and more interesting: self-imposed loneliness, a syndrome of behavior that reinforces itself. And the touchstones of that kind of behavior are all kinds of contradictory impulses. Puristanism and pornography at the same time... "I've got to get healthy" while popping pills at the same time... That dreadful diet... It's full of these things that he does to make sure he'll never get to where he's going... so he can reinforce his own doomed condition. Hide
[commenting on the technical advances in cinema] We are now in a crisis of technology--we don't know Show more [commenting on the technical advances in cinema] We are now in a crisis of technology--we don't know quite what a movie is. We are re-wiring our brains so we can live with the machines we've made. Hide
If you write interesting roles, you get interesting people to play them. If you write roles that are Show more If you write interesting roles, you get interesting people to play them. If you write roles that are full of nuance and contradiction and have interesting dialog, actors are drawn to that... You have to have a role where an actor says, "Okay, I'm not going to get as much money as I want, I'm going to have to work on a shorter shooting schedule than I'd like, but the role's really interesting, so let's do it.". Hide
[on acting himself in Dog Eat Dog (2016)] I had no intention of playing The Greek. Over pre-producti Show more [on acting himself in Dog Eat Dog (2016)] I had no intention of playing The Greek. Over pre-production, I approached Michael Douglas, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Nick Nolte, Chris Walken, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Winncot and Rupert Everett to play the Greek as a transgender Cleveland gangster. For one reason or another, none of them worked. I was the only actor we could afford. "I may not be good," I thought, "but at least I'll be interesting." [2016] Hide
Every time you think the studios have fucked you every way they can, they come up with a new way. Every time you think the studios have fucked you every way they can, they come up with a new way.
[on Stanley Kubrick] Every time out of the box he had a different dance. [on Stanley Kubrick] Every time out of the box he had a different dance.
[on how he and brother Leonard Schrader used storytelling as one of their few amusements allowed in Show more [on how he and brother Leonard Schrader used storytelling as one of their few amusements allowed in his strict Calvinist home] We came from a background of storytellers and we were very good at that. Hide
I was raised as a Calvinist, which is doctrine-driven. And though there are many things wrong with C Show more I was raised as a Calvinist, which is doctrine-driven. And though there are many things wrong with Calvinism, you are at least encouraged to argue about things. But once you get into a faith-driven belief system there's not much you can do. They can say to you, for instance, that women have three breasts. And even when you line up 100 women and show them that they only have two breasts, they still say that women have three breasts because they were told it in a dream. And there's nothing you can do about that. Hide
[on Dog Eat Dog (2016)] The task then was to make Bunker's story feel contemporary. Edward Bunker 's Show more [on Dog Eat Dog (2016)] The task then was to make Bunker's story feel contemporary. Edward Bunker 's sensibility was forged in the '70s, Dog was set in the '90s - so what to do? Matt Wilder's beautifully manic script showed the way. I assembled a young creative team cut to bring energy to Ed Bunker's dark story. It was the first solo credit for each department head: cinematography, production design, wardrobe, editorial, associate producer, composer. These were members of what I called the postrules generation. They didn't want to break rules. They didn't even know there were rules. I instructed them: "We don't have the money to make this film in a studio fashion. That's the bad news. The good news is we can make any damn film we want. Surprise me. The only thing forbidden is to be boring." [2016] Hide
Everything we've learned in the last 100 years in filmmaking is useless. We don't know what we do, w Show more Everything we've learned in the last 100 years in filmmaking is useless. We don't know what we do, what a movie is, where we see it... The notion of the writer is up for grabs. They created this art form. Now there are no rules... There's one left: Storytelling works. [2016] Hide
[on Blue Collar (1978)] People who act against their own best interests are interesting characters. [on Blue Collar (1978)] People who act against their own best interests are interesting characters.
What fascinates me are people who want to be one thing but who behave in a way contradictory to that Show more What fascinates me are people who want to be one thing but who behave in a way contradictory to that. Who might say, "I want to be happy, but I keep doing things that make me unhappy.". Hide
I killed more screen characters in the first four films I wrote than I have since. I realized I had Show more I killed more screen characters in the first four films I wrote than I have since. I realized I had to stop writing violence. Hide
In this business, you've got to have a selective memory. Otherwise, it's too painful. In this business, you've got to have a selective memory. Otherwise, it's too painful.
At the time I wrote it [Taxi Driver (1976)], I was in a rather low and bad place. I had broken with Show more At the time I wrote it [Taxi Driver (1976)], I was in a rather low and bad place. I had broken with Pauline [film critic Pauline Kael], I had broken with my wife, I had broken with the woman I left my wife for, I had broken with the American Film Institute and I was in debt. Hide
If you have made a film that has been shelved or discarded, nobody--not your wife or best friend--wi Show more If you have made a film that has been shelved or discarded, nobody--not your wife or best friend--will ever believe it is any good, because they [Hollywood studios] don't discard $35-million investments. Hide
[on Robert De Niro's Oscar for Raging Bull (1980)] Dieting is not acting, but DeNiro was the first o Show more [on Robert De Niro's Oscar for Raging Bull (1980)] Dieting is not acting, but DeNiro was the first one to do that kind of thing. It would have been a gimmick if he wasn't so good. But I think it's the gimmick that won him the award. Hide
I wrote Taxi Driver (1976) as personal therapy, not as a commercial project. I wrote Taxi Driver (1976) as personal therapy, not as a commercial project.
We believed in a very real hell and very real evil. My mother took my hand once and stabbed me with Show more We believed in a very real hell and very real evil. My mother took my hand once and stabbed me with a needle. She said, "You know how that felt, when the needle hit your thumb? Well, hell is like that... all the time!". Hide
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