[The films of Paul Schrader] are difficult to get hold of. They are not only about contradictions, they deal in them. As often as not they employ shock effects that appear to pander to what the moralists among us would call our baser instincts….
Once upon a time when we went to the movies, there was never any doubt about what we were supposed to think. We knew who were the good guys and who were the bad. Some of this had to do with typecasting but, basically, it was the result of the laws laid down by the old Production Code, which said that crime could not pay except, of course, for the producers who made films showing us the manifold ways in which crime could not pay again and again and again....
(The entire section is 951 words.)