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ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader$
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Michelle E. Moore and Brian Brems

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474462037

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474462037.001.0001

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Late Schrader: From the Canon to the Canyons

Late Schrader: From the Canon to the Canyons

(p.51) Chapter 3 Late Schrader: From the Canon to the Canyons
ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader

Billy Stevenson

Edinburgh University Press

Considers how Paul Schrader’s criticism informs his late films by analyzing the implications of this exchange in three different ways. First, its implications for the discourses of cinematic canonicity as they are constructed and critiqued in Schrader’s article, “Canon Fodder” which is at once an affirmation of the cinematic canon and an exhaustion of the cinematic canon. Second, the implications of this exchange for Schrader’s subsequent film The Canyons (2013), and its project of wrestling a post-cinematic aesthetic from the lexicon of classical Hollywood. Finally, the implications of this exchange are considered for the peculiar role played by Los Angeles in a new post-cinematic canon, wherein this former centre of cinematic cultural production now becomes a privileged site for problematizing the distinction between cinematic and non-cinematic (or post-cinematic) spatialities. The chapter argues that “Canon Fodder” and The Canyons together represent the beginning of a “late” period in Schrader’s career that encompassing the revisionist gestures of The Walker (2007), Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005) and Dog Eat Dog (2016), but is most fully realized in The Canyons, but still operates as a body of work.

Keywords:   Paul Schrader, Film Canonicity, The Canyons, The Walker, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, Dog Eat Dog, Los Angeles

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