Detective Philip Lovecraft lives in Los Angeles in the 1950s when an ambitious Senator is holding hearings, on Magic. Magic is the new influence in Tinsel Town. Lovecraft is unique in that he is the only one who refuses to use magic in his work. Shortly after he is hired, he finds his client, Kim Hudson, accused of the murder of her husband, a film executive. Philip uses the tallents of a local witch, Kropotkin, to explain what is happening only to see her accused of the murder and sentenced to be burnt at the stake. Reminiscent of Roger Rabbit, without the toons. –IMDb.com
Raised in a strict religious household in Michigan, writer/director Paul Schrader studied theology at Calvin College and didn’t see a movie until he was in his late teens. His stern background would fuel many of the themes throughout his career: downbeat stories of characters who violently break down in oppressive situations. Transfixed by the cinema and encouraged by critic Pauline Kael, he moved to Los Angeles and became a film scholar at U.C.L.A. He wrote movie reviews for newspapers, edited the magazine Cinema, and wrote the highly influential critical essay “The Trancendental Style: Ozu, Bresson, Dryer.” After a period of heavy drinking and serious depression, he sold his first screenplay, The Yakuza, a Japanese thriller co-written with his brother, Leonard, and Robert Towne. The next year, Schrader wrote Taxi Driver, the grim tale of urban alienation. Taxi Driver started his successful collaborative relationship with director Martin Scorsese, another… read more
I have to say, even Schrader at his "weakest" is far more interesting than most directors of this complicated material at their "best." You can tell he at least gave a shit whilst directing, and he seems to handle Hopper, Miller, Sands and Bogosian effectively (the latter of whom becomes most amusing when he transistions from being McCarthy allegory to something not so different from his "Talk Radio" character).