Paul (Joseph) Schrader Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Blue Collar has to be one of the most dogged pictures ever produced. Making his début as a director, Paul Schrader, the phenomenally successful young screenwriter, has approached directing as a painful, necessary ritual—the ultimate overdue term paper. He goes at it methodically, and gets through it with honors but without flair, humor, believability. Blue Collar is an exercise, an idea film in which each scene makes its point and is over. (p. 406)

Blue Collar says that the system grinds all workers down, that it destroys their humanity and their hopes. At the start, under the titles, there's the ominous, heavy rock beat of "Hard Workin' Man"—like the hammer of oppression....

(The entire section is 1264 words.)