Paul (Joseph) Schrader Richard Combs - Essay

Richard Combs

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Without the compulsive plot mechanism that usually draws [Schrader's] characters ineluctably towards their destiny …, Cat People tends to disintegrate into a series of notations. That these in themselves remain watchable enough, and at times quite fascinating, is a testament—yet another paradox—to the extent that Schrader's transcendentalist cinema has transcended his own limitations as a writer. American Gigolo marked the point where the force-feeding of characters through the plot mechanism (which became an actual meat-grinder in Rolling Thunder) could be suspended in favour of more meditatively visual comment. Ferdinando Scarfiotti, Bertolucci's collaborator and Schrader's "visual...

(The entire section is 562 words.)