Monday, July 14, 2008

Harrelson/Schrader Sleeper

Paul Schrader continues to carve out one acutely weird Hollywood career, functioning as the much acclaimed screenwriter of such big films as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull or as the man behind the camera for American Gigolo or Auto Focus, he’s also responsible for such leftfield efforts like The Comfort of Strangers, Light Sleeper, Affliction, or last years little seen The Walker (2007, ThinkFilms, $27.98,108 minutes). A hard-to-classify combo that’s part political commentary, part thriller, and part pure character study, it features Woody Harrelson as a male escort (who happens to be gay) specializing in the elder female socialites of Washington DC . Schrader, also a hirsute film crit and essayist, knows how to fashion an assured and stylish film, and he casts well (besides Harrelson, The Walker boasts Ned Beatty, Willem Dafoe, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall and Lily Tomlin), so it’s both a mystery and a shame that an intelligent exercise like this just about leaks out as a DVD sleeper.


skylolo99 said...

Scott- I can't believe you left out Blue Collar.

Scotty D said...

My intentions were indeed to write at least a sentence about the Schrader written and directed Blue Collar ('78), it being one of my personal fave-raves, and the film with the best Richard Pryor performance ever, great turns from my man Harvey Keitel and Yapphet Kotto, one of the coolest title sequence songs evaaaah (Captain Beefheart singing the Bo Diddleyesque "Hard Working Man" written by Jack Nitzsche, Ry Cooder, and Mr. Schrader), and one of the few Hollywood films to actually delve directlty into racism, social economy, and unionism. I meant to, but the middle-aged blues and an uncertain brain pattern but an end to that.

Scotty D said...

Oh yeah: