May 31, 2015

Red light

Hardcore (Paul Schrader, 1979). Paul Schrader memorably described The Exorcist as God and Satan fighting over the body of a girl. Obvious Searchers parallels aside, that’s Hardcore too – but in Schrader’s account, the girl (Ilah Davis) barely has a word to say about it, as though Schrader is unintentionally reproducing the misogynist worlds on screen. George C Scott is the John Wayne-esque Calvinist father from the midwest descending into the 70s porn and peep show underworlds of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, looking for his vanished daughter, about whom we learn nothing, although Season Hubley has some energy and conviction as prostitute Niki – even if she is written largely as a continuation of Taxi Driver’s Iris. Further evidence that Schrader always talked a better movie than he wrote, and wrote a better movie than he directed.