Directed by Paul Schrader

Directed by Paul Schrader

13 Episodes

In anticipation of his latest opus, OH, CANADA, we’re revisiting the films of one of American cinema’s most provocative moral philosophers. For over forty years, Paul Schrader has probed the guilty soul of the modern world in a relentless search for existential meaning. Raised in a strict Calvinist household—a rigorous upbringing that would influence his cinematic philosophy and his study of the “transcendental” styles of directors like Yasujiro Ozu and Robert Bresson—Schrader exploded onto the scene with his screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s TAXI DRIVER, an anguished howl of urban alienation that established him as one of the leading figures of the 1970s New American Cinema. Specializing in explorations of damaged souls driven to shocking extremes in their search for salvation, he has experimented with a range of styles, genres, and tones—ranging from the profoundly serious to the coolly ironic to the self-consciously sleazy—in daring works like HARDCORE, MISHIMA: A LIFE IN FOUR CHAPTERS, and AUTO FOCUS. Grappling with weighty themes of faith, violence, sin, and redemption, Schrader’s films are fascinating windows into his personal obsessions.

Directed by Paul Schrader
  • Directed by Paul Schrader Teaser

    Episode 1

  • Affliction

    Episode 2

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1997 • United States
    Starring Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn

    Driven by powerhouse performances from Nick Nolte and an Oscar-winning James Coburn, Paul Schrader’s searing adaptation of the novel by Russell Banks is an emotionally intense exploration of family, ...

  • Blue Collar

    Episode 3

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1978 • United States
    Starring Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto

    Paul Schrader’s hard-nosed directorial debut features searing performances by comic great Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto. Fed up with the indignities of factory work, three disgru...

  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

    Episode 4

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1985 • Japan, United States

    Paul Schrader's visually stunning, collagelike portrait of acclaimed Japanese author and playwright Yukio Mishima (played by Ken Ogata) investigates the inner turmoil and contradictions of a man who attempted an impossible harmony between s...

  • The Comfort of Strangers

    Episode 5

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1990 • United States
    Starring Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson

    Two couples are drawn into a dark psychosexual vortex in Paul Schrader’s stylish take on the erotic thriller. Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson are a British couple hoping to repa...

  • Hardcore

    Episode 6

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1979 • United States
    Starring George C. Scott, Peter Boyle, Season Hubley

    Paul Schrader’s potent sophomore feature stars George C. Scott as a conservative Calvinist businessman from the Midwest who is drawn into California’s pornographic underground as he searches for...

  • Cat People

    Episode 7

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1982 • United States
    Starring Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard

    Paul Schrader’s kinky-stylish reworking of the 1942 Val Lewton classic transfers the action to a voodoo-spooky New Orleans, adds an incestuous undercurrent, and ups the sex and gore. Nastassj...

  • Patty Hearst

    Episode 8

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1988 • United States
    Starring Natasha Richardson, William Forsythe, Ving Rhames

    Who was the real Patty Hearst? Built around a remarkable performance from Natasha Richardson, this chilling biopic explores the many dimensions of one of the twentieth century’s most contr...

  • The Canyons

    Episode 9

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 2013 • United States
    Starring Lindsay Lohan, James Deen, Gus Van Sant

    “American Psycho” author Bret Easton Ellis and acclaimed director Paul Schrader join forces for this daring and infamously divisive erotic thriller about youth, glamour, sex, and surveillance. Manip...

  • Light Sleeper

    Episode 10

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1992 • United States
    Starring Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany

    Willem Dafoe stars in this moody character study as John LeTour, a drug dealer who faces a midlife crisis now that his supplier (Susan Sarandon) wants a change of career. LeTour reencounters an ol...

  • Auto Focus

    Episode 11

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 2002 • United States
    Starring Greg Kinnear, Willem Dafoe, Rita Wilson

    Paul Schrader delves into the seedy underbelly of fame in this darkly compelling look at the life and times of actor Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear), who found fame as the clean-cut star of the sitcom “Hog...

  • Touch

    Episode 12

    Directed by Paul Schrader • 1997 • United States
    Starring Bridget Fonda, Christopher Walken, Skeet Ulrich

    Paul Schrader’s recurring search for the divine in contemporary America gets an offbeat, darkly comic spin in this adaptation of a (non-crime) novel by Elmore Leonard. After he witnesses a y...

  • Paul Schrader in Conversation

    Episode 13

    A legendary screenwriter, director, critic, and cinephile whose work searches for spiritual salvation in the modern world, Paul Schrader did not in fact see a movie until he was a teenager—a result of his being raised in a strict Calvinist household that forbade filmgoing. In this edition of Adve...