MISHIMA: A LIFE IN FOUR CHAPTERS
1985, Janus Films, 121 min, USA/Japan, Dir: Paul Schrader

The tumultuous life of Japanese writer Yukio Mishima serves as the subject for what many consider director Paul Schrader’s masterpiece. To a score by Philip Glass, the film interweaves several narratives (each with its own distinctive look) drawn from Mishima’s youth, his novels and the attempted coup that ended in his ritual suicide. “The most unconventional biopic I've ever seen, and one of the best.” – Roger Ebert. In Japanese and English with English subtitles.


HARDCORE
1979, Sony Repertory, 109 min, USA, Dir: Paul Schrader

This underrated drama from writer-director Paul Schrader is anchored by one of George C. Scott’s greatest performances. He plays Jake Van Dorn, a conservative Midwestern businessman whose daughter disappears during a church-sponsored trip to California. Horrified to learn she may now be working in the L.A. porn industry, Van Dorn enlists a sleazy private investigator (Peter Boyle) and a wary streetwalker (Season Hubley) to find the girl.


BRINGING OUT THE DEAD
1999, Paramount, 121 min, USA, Dir: Martin Scorsese

TAXI DRIVER director Martin Scorsese and writer Paul Schrader return to the gritty streets of Manhattan - in an ambulance. This time Nicolas Cage (in one of his best performances) takes the wheel as burnt-out paramedic Frank Pierce, bedeviled by a heroin epidemic that’s gripped the city and haunted by the patients he couldn’t save. His partners on the graveyard shift deal with the chaos of the job in varying ways: Ving Rhames appeals to God, while the brutal Tom Sizemore puts his trust in a baseball bat. An underrated meditation on how tenuous the ties to life and to sanity can become.


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