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Cinematheque Sets Paul Schrader Events

By admin Published: March 4, 2011

Having seen "The Yakuza," "Taxi Driver," "Obsession," "Rolling Thunder" (where Tommy Lee Jones has one of the great lines in movies), "Blue Collar," "Hardcore," "American Gigolo," "Raging Bull," "Cat People," "Light of Day" and still more of Schrader's work as writer and/or director, I would have loved to talk to the guy. Unfortunately, my interview request was turned down. So here's the official word:

Filmmaker Paul Schrader, whose screenwriting credits include TAXI DRIVER and RAGING BULL and whose directorial credits include AMERICAN GIGOLO and AUTO FOCUS, will appear in person on Friday, March 18 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle, Schrader will answer audience questions after a rare theatrical showing of his 1987 rock 'n' roll movie LIGHT OF DAY, filmed in Cleveland (and University Circle) 25 years ago with stars Michael J. Fox, Joan Jett, and Gena Rowlands. Tickets cost $15, Cinematheque members $10. Full-price tickets can be purchased in advance at

Earlier in the week that Schrader comes to Cleveland, the Cinematheque will show two other films by the Michigan native. Schrader's first film as a director, BLUE COLLAR (1978), will screen on Monday, March 14 at 7:00 pm, and his Oscar-winning AFFLICTION (1997) will play on Thursday, March 17 at 7:00 pm. Admission to either of these films is $9, Cinematheque members $6.

Continues after the jump.

Monday, March 14, at 7:00 pm


USA, 1978, Paul Schrader

Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto play Detroit auto workers who, disrespected by both management and labor bosses, decide to rob their union’s headquarters—a bigger mistake than they know. Blue Collar was the directorial debut of ace screenwriter Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, De Palma’s Obsession, et al.), and the Michigan native shot it in Kalamazoo. “Very probably the most clear-sighted movie ever made about the ways that shopfloor workers get fucked over by ‘the system’.” –Time Out Film Guide. New 35mm color print from the Universal Pictures studio archive! 114 min.

Thursday, March 17, at 6:45 pm


USA, 1997, Paul Schrader

One of Paul Schrader’s most acclaimed and honored films won an Academy Award for James Coburn and an Oscar nomination for Nick Nolte. Based on a Russell Banks novel, the film tells of a troubled small-town New Hampshire policeman (Nolte) and his volatile relationships with his abusive father (Coburn) and ex-wife and daughter. With Sissy Spacek, William Dafoe, and Mary Beth Hurt. 35mm. 114 min.

Friday, March 18, at 7:30 pm

A Special Event!

Paul Schrader in Person!

25th Anniversary!

Shot-in-Cleveland Rock ‘n’ Roll Movie


USA, 1987, Paul Schrader

Tonight we’re proud to welcome acclaimed writer-director Paul Schrader to the Cinematheque. In his illustrious 35+ year career, Schrader has written such films as Taxi Driver, Obsession, and Raging Bull, and directed movies ranging from American Gigolo and Mishima to Patty Hearst and Auto Focus. 25 years ago Schrader was in Cleveland shooting a rock ‘n’ roll movie at the Euclid Tavern and other University Circle/East Side locations. Light of Day (the title comes from a Bruce Springsteen song written for the film) stars Michael J. Fox and Joan Jett as the brother and sister lead performers in a working-class Cleveland rock band. The film focuses on the siblings’ on- and off-stage lives. He is a factory worker who loses his job; she is an impoverished unwed mother whose reckless lifestyle has alienated her from her deeply-religious mother (Gena Rowlands). Though Schrader readily admits that the film is “flawed,” it is also fascinating—especially for Clevelanders. The Time Out Film Guide says that “what at first seems just another dreary blue-collar melodrama turns out to be something infinitely superior…Create(s) a powerful feeling of real lives being lived and lost.” Never released on DVD, Light of Day features a cameo by young Trent Reznor, who can be seen playing with other members of Exotic Birds, his pre-Nine Inch Nails band (here called the Problems). Schrader will answer audience questions after the screening. 35mm. 107 min. Special admission $15; members and CIA students & staff $10; no passes, twofers, or radio winners. Full-price tickets can be purchased in advance at

Two weeks after Schrader appears in Cleveland, the Cinematheque will show a new 35mm print of RAGING BULL as part of the second Cleveland Cult Film Festival. This two-week mini-series, which runs from March 25 - April 2, will feature three other movies: PSYCHO, THE NOT-FOR-TV BLOOPER MOVIE, and SHANTY TRAMP. Admission to each is $9, Cinematheque members $6, or $15 ($12 members) for two films on the same night.

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