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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 23 May 2022

Prophets and Zealots: Paul Schrader’s Adaptations of The Mosquito Coast and The Last Temptation of Christ

Prophets and Zealots: Paul Schrader’s Adaptations of The Mosquito Coast and The Last Temptation of Christ

Chapter:
(p.87) Chapter 5 Prophets and Zealots: Paul Schrader’s Adaptations of The Mosquito Coast and The Last Temptation of Christ
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Paul Schrader
Author(s):

Erica Moulton

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474462037.003.0006

Focuses on Paul Schrader's process of adapting two novels—Paul Theroux's The Mosquito Coast and Nikos Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ. Draws on the Harry Ransom Center's collection of Paul Schrader's papers, Schrader's annotated copies of The Last Temptation of Christ and The Mosquito Coast, the outlines that he created for both films, and the multiple script drafts. Argues there is an inherent dilemma with The Mosquito Coast because the voiceover structure distances the viewer from the protagonist, Allie Fox, instead telling the story through the eyes of his son, Charlie. However, in Last Temptation (1978), Jesus undergoes trials that challenge his followers while remaining the audience's touchstone. The shifting use of voiceover as a technical tool in screenwriting therefore serves as a gauge for demonstrating how Schrader envelops viewers in his characters' worldviews. The last section of the chapter reflects on how Schrader's presentation of such themes is informed by his own critical concept of transcendental film style.

Keywords:   Paul Schrader, Paul Theroux, Nikos Kazantzakis, The Mosquito Coast, The Last Temptation of Christ, Harry Ransom Collection, Transcendental film

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