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Creator: Paul Schrader
Born in the Midwest to a conservative Calvinist family, Paul Schrader would not see his first film until the age of 18. A child of the 60s, he would revolt against his family and join the counter culture and embrace the "new freedoms". For some this was rock and roll, for Schrader it was serious films.

As a critic, Paul Schrader was mentored by the famous Pauline Kael and wrote serious studies on Film Noir and underrated film-makers like Joseph H. Lewis and others. He also wrote on arthouse film-makers like Yasujiro Ozu, Carl Theodor Dreyer and his favorite, Robert Bresson, in a still-classic thematic study of all three directors, Transcendental Style in Film: Ozu, Bresson, Dreyer. He also enjoyed films like Performance by Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell. It wasn't long before he became a screenwriter and an associate of the New Hollywood. He worked on the screenplay of Sydney Pollack's The Yakuza, Brian De Palma's Obsession, and the early draft of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind which Spielberg rewrote to the extent that Schrader amicably withdrew credit. His most famous work was Taxi Driver which was based on his own Creator Breakdown, in a period where he came dangerously close to suicide and went weeks without talking to people. The collaboration between Scorsese and Robert De Niro has tended to make Schrader Overshadowed by Awesome but Scorsese insists that of all their collaborations, Taxi Driver is the one that most has Schrader all over it. Schrader would go on to make major contributions to such Scorsese films as Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing out the Dead, and the two retain something of a Vitriolic Best Buds connection.

Schrader's collaborations on such classic films are far more well known than his own films as a director despite being active for forty years, making films in different styles and genres. In his own way, his films have been highly influential. His debut Blue Collar influenced Wes Anderson and Spike Lee, and Mishima, his highly original biopic on the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, was the first mainstream American movie to have the dialogue entirely in Japanese. His remake of Cat People involved serious Fanservice on the part of Nastassja Kinski, but it's also oddly compelling. Among his other best films are American Gigolo, starring Richard Gere; Patty Hearst, starring Natasha Richardson; Light Sleeper, starring Willem Dafoe and Dana Delany, and Affliction, adapted from a novel by Russell Banks, for which James Coburn won the Best Actor Oscar. One of his best later films is Auto Focus. The Canyons, starring Lindsay Lohan, was less successful.

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Rob SchrabScreenwritersMartin Scorsese
Lone ScherfigDirectorsJoel Schumacher

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