Arts & Entertainment

Paul Schrader receives lifetime achievement Golden Lion in Venice

Venice, Italy, Sep 3 (EFE).- Filmmaker and scriptwriter Paul Schrader on Saturday received the Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice International Film Festival for a career that is the “best possible example for young filmmakers” in the words of Martin Scorsese.

Scorsese participated in the ceremony at the Palazzo del Cinema de la Mostra through a video, in which he talked of the contribution of the extraordinary artist and his friend.

Schrader wrote the screenplay of Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1974) and collaborated for the scripts of his other masterpieces “Raging Bull” (1980) and “The last temptation of Christ”, (1988), and the renowned director expressed his unbridled admiration for the awardee.

“My respect for him as an artist has grown with each film,” said Scorsese, highlighting that Schrader had worked in the worst possible conditions but always managed to adapt in order to “make the film that he wanted.”

The Taxi Driver director insisted that he could not think of a better example for young filmmakers making their first film, when they felt disheartened.

Schrader’s latest directorial venture “Master Gardener” was premiered in Venice as a festival entry on Saturday.

One of the actors of this film, Sigourney Weaver, also hailed Schrader’s “extraordinary work” and recalled that before turning into an acclaimed director, the American master had begun as a critic.

Schrader wrote his first screenplay in 1974, and soon after directed his first film, marking the beginning of a diverse career which has moved between genres such as realism, horror and social criticism.

Weaver described Schrader as a guiding light of US cinema for 50 years, who had shown that it was possible to develop a career in commercial cinema while working both intellectually and emotionally towards establishing an independent vision.

Schrader received the Golden Lion from the president of the Venice Biennale, Roberto Cicutto, thanking God, family and his actors “in that order.”

“It is not an exaggeration to affirm that he is one of the most important American filmmakers of his generation, a director who is deeply influenced by European film and culture, and a stubbornly independent screenwriter who nonetheless knows how to work on commission and confidently move within the Hollywood system,” the director of the Venice Film Festival, Alberto Barbera, said while announcing the Golden Lion

Schrader, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1946, has written and directed more than 30 films, including acclaimed features such as “American Gigolo” (1980), “Touch” (1997) and “Affliction” (1999).

In 2019, he was nominated along with Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried for the best screenplay Oscar for the thriller “First reformed,” which also premiered at Venice in 2017.

Late on Saturday, the award ceremony was preceded by the traditional red carpet, in which Weaver and fellow “Master Gardner” actor Quintessa Swindell dazzled in stylish dresses, while Schrader paid little heed to protocol and landed up in sneakers and an informal jacket. EFE


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