Just as the Ethan Hawke-led indie drama “First Reformed” was picking up serious awards momentum in recent days following some early key awards wins, the movie’s director Paul Schrader appears to have temporarily stalled or at least slowed down that momentum.
As part of a talk for the BAFTA Screenwriters Series in the UK (via Deadline), Schrader took the opportunity to discuss the state of cinema and says that people complaining that films today are severely lacking compared to those in the 1970s are half-wrong. He indicates it’s not the film’s that are the problem, it’s the audience:
“There are people who talk about the American cinema of the 1970s as some halcyon period. It was to a degree but not because there were any more talented filmmakers. There’s probably, in fact, more talented filmmakers today than there was in the ’70s. What there was in the ’70s was better audiences.
When people take movies seriously it’s very easy to make a serious movie. When they don’t take it seriously, it’s very, very hard. We now have audiences that don’t take movies seriously so it’s hard to make a serious movie for them. It’s not that us filmmakers are letting you down, it’s you audiences are letting us down.”
Schrader then went onto his Facebook page and revealed that he wants to make a film with Kevin Spacey, despite the sexual misconduct allegations again him:
“I was sent a script yesterday. A very very very good script which screamed Kevin Spacey for the lead. I told the producer I’d direct it if they would make it with Kevin. The producer responded that that was not possible. I believe there are crimes in life but no crimes in art. Spacey should be punished for any crimes his actual person created. But not for art. All art is a crime. Punishing him as an artist only diminishes art. Put Celine in jail, put Pound in jail, punish Wilde and Bruce if you must, but do not censor their art.”
“First Reformed” is available digitally on iTunes and disc.