Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader

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Paul Schrader

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Paul Joseph Schrader (born July 22, 1946) is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Despite his credentials as a director, Schrader has received more recognition for his screenplays for others, especially Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

Early life

Schrader was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the son of Joan (née Fisher) and Charles A. Schrader, an executive. Schrader's family practiced in the Calvinist Christian Reformed Church, and his early life was based upon the religion's strict principles and parental education. When he disobeyed his mother, she would stab his hand with a pin, asking, "You think that felt bad? Hell is like that, only every second and all over your body". He did not see a film until he was eighteen years old, and was able to sneak away from home; in an interview he stated that The Absent-Minded Professor was the first film he saw, and according to Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, he had a full blown panic attack right before he saw it.

Schrader received his BA from Calvin College, with a minor in Theology. He then earned an MA in Film Studies from the UCLA Film School graduate program upon the recommendation of Pauline Kael. With her as his mentor, he became a film critic,...
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