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News . Feature Stories . Writer-Director Paul Schrader Coming to Cinematheque

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March 06, 2011

Writer-Director Paul Schrader Coming to Cinematheque

On March 18 filmmaker Paul Schrader will answer questions after a screening of his 1987 shot-in-Cleveland movie Light of Day.

Filmmaker Paul Schrader, whose screenwriting credits include Taxi Driver and Raging Bull and whose directorial credits include American Gigolo and Auto Focus, will appear in person on Friday, March 18 at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. Schrader will answer audience questions after a rare theatrical showing of his 1987 rock 'n' roll movie Light of Day, filmed in Cleveland with stars Michael J. Fox, Joan Jett, and Gena Rowlands. Tickets cost $15, Cinematheque members $10. Full-price tickets can be purchased in advance at brownpapertickets.com.

Twenty-five years ago Schrader was in Cleveland shooting a rock ‘n’ roll movie at the Euclid Tavern and other University Circle and east-side locations. Light of Day (the title comes from a Bruce Springsteen song written for the film) focuses on the on- and off-stage lives of the brother and sister lead performers in a working-class Cleveland rock band. He (Fox) is a factory worker who loses his job; she (Jett) is an impoverished unwed mother whose reckless lifestyle has alienated her from her deeply religious mother (Rowlands).

Though Schrader readily admits that the film is “flawed,” it is also fascinating—especially for Clevelanders. The Time Out Film Guide says that “what at first seems just another dreary blue-collar melodrama turns out to be something infinitely superior…Create(s) a powerful feeling of real lives being lived and lost.” See The Plain Dealer's March 16, 2011 writeup of the film.

Never released on DVD, Light of Day features a cameo by young Trent Reznor, who can be seen playing with other members of Exotic Birds, his pre-Nine Inch Nails band (here called the Problems).

More films by Schrader
Earlier in the week that Schrader comes to Cleveland, the Cinematheque will show two other films by the Michigan native. Schrader's first film as a director, Blue Collar (1978), will screen on Monday, March 14 at 7pm, and his Oscar-winning Affliction (1997) will play on Thursday, March 17 at 7pm. Admission to either of these films is $9, Cinematheque members $6.

Cleveland Cult Film Festival
Two weeks after Schrader appears in Cleveland, the Cinematheque will show a new 35mm print of Raging Bull as part of the second Cleveland Cult Film Festival. This two-week mini-series, which runs from March 25 to April 2, will feature three other movies: Psycho, The Not-For-TV Blooper Movie, and Shanty Tramp. Admission to each is $9, Cinematheque members $6, or $15 ($12 members) for two films on the same night.

More info
For further information about any Cinematheque presentation, call John Ewing or Tim Harry at 216.421.7450, email cinema@cia.edu, or visit cia.edu/cinematheque.

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