Paul Schrader is a total idiot

Keying Up: The Court Jester

I guess the once-great screenwriter Paul Schrader is washing down his Ambien with a couple of cabernets again – only this time, instead of calling for civil war on Facebook, he is lashing out against his prospective customers:

Paul Schrader has been in the movie business for well over four decades, and the one thing he’s noticed that has changed the most over the last several years is the moviegoing audience itself. Schrader, who most recently wrote and directed the acclaimed “First Reformed,” recently appeared at a BAFTA Screenwriters Series in London and connected the dots between the current lack of quality films in Hollywood and the overall changes in moviegoing attitudes.

“There are people who talk about the American cinema of the ‘70s as some halcyon period,” Schrader said (via Deadline). “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,” he continued. “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.”

You know what, Paul? F*** you. How dare you.

I cannot honestly claim to be a devoted cinephile. But I like movies and I go to the movies when the opportunity presents itself and I feel there is something worth watching. Do you know how often that is? These days, almost never. Because virtually everything that’s playing is the cinematic equivalent of a Hot Pocket. It’s junk, and it’s bad for you.

And I am not some rube who doesn’t know an auteur from an arc shot. I mean, I was reading books about Hitchcock in high school for fun. I only mention this to illustrate that I actually care about movies. I take movies very seriously. Very seriously, Paul. And the stuff that you people are cranking out these days is just unwatchable. It’s terrible. It’s insultingly bad – even when you’re not actively pissing on the fans.

To paraphrase an online comment about Hot Pockets, what you call movies nowadays are in fact “disgusting movie-like items.” You (Hollywood) have literally lost the plot. You don’t know how to tell stories anymore. You don’t know how to captivate the audience using the magic of the big screen. You have a grave responsibility here. We are paying good money to sit in a darkened room for 110 minutes and be entertained. You had better not waste our time. But you are wasting it, Paul. Your industry is wasting billions of hours of our time every year. And we are not amused.

Paul, you are a brilliant screenwriter and it pains me to say this (not really). But in blaming the moviegoing public for the decline of Hollywood, you resemble a capering, jingling fool whose act has worn thin, and now both the rich nobles and the groundlings in the pit are jeering and pelting you with rotten vegetables. You don’t know when to cut your losses, though, so you stay on stage, cursing and shaking your fist at the audience, as an earl in the galleries roars with laughter and empties a bucket of tomatoes onto your ass-eared cap.

“Hunting the Con Queen of Hollywood”

Wild story:

For more than a year, some of the most powerful women in entertainment — including Amy Pascal, Kathleen Kennedy, Stacey Snider and a ‘Homeland’ director — have been impersonated by a cunning thief who targets insiders with promises of work, then bilks them out of thousands of dollars. The Hollywood Reporter has obtained exclusive audio recordings of the savvy imposter as victims come forward and a global investigation heats up.

He was a freelance documentary photographer, 27 and eager, but not inexperienced. He’d worked in conflict zones for several prestige newspapers and magazines and shot ad campaigns for corporate clients. One day in late 2017, he opened his email to find an unusual message. The first thing he noticed was the sender’s name: Amy Pascal, the former co-chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment. That kind of thing didn’t happen every day. […]

Six months and $65,000 later, the photographer, who has requested anonymity out of concern for his safety, has come to understand that he was duped by one of the most elaborate scams to ever hit Hollywood. The woman he’d spoken to several times a day for weeks on end wasn’t Pascal, but a sophisticated imposter who took him for a colossal financial and emotional ride.

[Facepalm]

For the past two and a half years, hundreds of unwitting victims around the world have been ensnared by a small but cunning criminal organization whose contours are only beginning to be understood. […]

At the center of the organization is the impersonator — a woman whose sophisti­cated research, skill with accents and deft psychological and emotional manipulation have earned her the begrudging respect of her victims and trackers. […]

In addition to the tens of thousands of dollars he forfeited, the photographer struggles to wrap his head around the fact that she toyed with him so aggressively long after his funds were depleted, after she had gotten everything she would ever get, when it was simply a game she appeared to enjoy. “At what point does a crazy evil genius say, ‘I’ve got enough out of this person, let’s move on to someone else?'”

What we have here, is a Grade A psychopath.

Listen to those audio recordings, they are really spooky. It will be interesting to find out who this woman is, if we ever do. I wonder if it bothers her that she will never be a celebrity unless she gets caught.