Paul (Joseph) Schrader Vincent Canby - Essay

Vincent Canby

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Having now seen "American Gigolo," "Hardcore" and "Taxi Driver,"… I can't tell whether Mr. Schrader seizes on these sensational subjects because he is a canny picture-maker or because he is fascinated by moral sleaziness. I don't mean that he's just idly curious but that he is obsessed in the manner of a person who was brought up in a strict religious faith, as Mr. Schrader (Dutch Reformed Church) was, and somewhat late in life discovered what he takes to be the real nature of the world.

"American Gigolo" is a laughable movie but it's not without interest, if only because Mr. Schrader seems to be genuinely convinced of the worth of his hero, Julian Kay …, an almost physically perfect young man...

(The entire section is 622 words.)