College of DuPage English professors' new film publication receives accolades from Martin Scorsese
College of DuPage English professors Brian Brems' and Michelle Moore's recently-published collection exploring director, screenwriter and critic Paul Schrader's groundbreaking achievements brought with it kudos from industry leaders, including Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese.
Receiving such praise from Scorsese, one of America's prominent directors, was especially satisfyingly after all the hard work in editing, Brems said.
"Getting a back cover blurb from Martin Scorsese was an incredible surprise," he said. "We couldn't believe it. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to do the book and are glad that Mr. Schrader's work is getting more attention thanks to our efforts. Michelle and I are already looking forward to our next collaboration."
The collection, "Refocus: The Films of Paul Schrader," highlights Schrader's storied film career, most notably screenwriting four of Scorsese's films: "Taxi Driver," "Raging Bull," "The Last Temptation of Christ" and "Bringing Out the Dead."
"As a filmmaker and as an essayist, Paul Schrader has always been focused on the life of spirit, often under the most debased conditions and shocking circumstances," Scorsese said. "That focus, as a writer and as a director, has resulted in several truly remarkable pictures. Truly, I don't know where the art of cinema would be without Schrader's work, his mind, and his presence. This collection is a just and illuminating tribute to the work of a very important artist."
The collection contains contributions from various scholars studying film, philosophy, history and theology, all of which are interests of Schrader's and are represented in his various films.
"Working on this book was an incredibly rewarding experience," Brems said. "Paul Schrader not only has the distinction of being one of my favorite filmmakers but also one who deserves more study. He has been long overlooked in film studies, and we are incredibly pleased that this book will finally give him his due."
In addition to assessing Schrader's contributions to directing, screenwriting and criticism, the collection includes a chapter-length interview with Schrader himself.
"It was an honor to have the chance to interview Paul Schrader," Moore said. "He couldn't have been more generous with his time, and his contribution helped solidify the career-spanning retrospective approach we took in structuring it. While we were unable to include chapters devoted to each of Mr. Schrader's many films, we feel that the collection illuminates his work for those interested in learning more about him."