Paul (Joseph) Schrader Pauline Kael - Essay

Pauline Kael

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Paul Schrader has powerful raw ideas for movies, but he attempts to function as a writer-director without ever developing his ideas or his characters…. [Jake's search through the porno-prostitution world for his daughter in Hardcore] might be a great fiery subject if we could feel what the girl was running away from and if the father were drawn into experiences that scared him, sickened him, shook him up. In old movies that warned viewers about the vices lying in wait for their daughters (white slavery, prostitution, drugs), there was something to attract the audience: the thrill of sin. Even when the cautionary aspect of the films was just a hypocritical ploy, there was something at stake; the temptations of...

(The entire section is 1065 words.)