Eric Schaeffer is a favorite actor/director of mine. He is a great television persona. Gravity and I Can’t Believe I am Still SIngle are two of the most fascinating programs to ever grace the small screen. I think like Mike Binder or Ed Burns he is capable of making very good films but his sensibility might work better with tv. That being said, he has a number of very good films and one masterpiece (Wirey Spindell).
After striking out (rating wise) on tv (Gravity, Starved), he has gone back to movies. Instead of wholly new material, he has revisited to not greatly known films
My Life in Turnaround (1993)
to They’re Out of the Business (2011) (trailer on IFC.com)
and Fall (1997)
to After Fall Winter (2011)
WINTER is a dangerous, sexy, poignant and at times darkly funny story about two people who desperately want intimacy but have fashioned lives of reclusivity and emotional fracture which ultimately spells the doom of their great love. WINTER begins with Michael, in his mid forties, suicidal about his writing career, which once flourished and now is on a downturn. He leaves his home in New York and goes to Paris in hopes of igniting his passion for writing and life. He also has a penchant for S and M. Soon after is arrival he meets Sophie, a sexy, smart, soulful, nurse who helps dying people transition to the after world. She and Michael instantly have chemistry albeit combative. Sophie has a secret. Her other job is being a dominatrix. Throughout the film, Sophie is nursing a little girl, Anais, who is dying of leukemia.
This sequel captures his interest in S and M apparent on the tv show Single. I look forward to both films though I think tv is where he will excell and I cannot remember films with less fanfare that have had sequels.
That being said, I cannot wait for a second Wirey Spindell
thought for sure Ari would have something to say about this
Hahaha, I’m trying to embrace a new and improved ethos of “if I have nothing good to say….”
My Life in Turnaround was the only Schaeffer the film that I’ve seen that I can recall tolerating.
Doesn’t this inevitably reek a bit of desperation?
And where is If Lucy Fell Again?
“Doesn’t this inevitably reek a bit of desperation?”
not sure, is reviving movies that no one saw desperate or brave?
If lucy fell again, have the feeling that is a movie he is not happy with, probably got messed with in cutting room.
Have u seen any of his tv work?
I haven’t. Just was reading up a little on him now… . seems quite bizarre and even more narcissistic and self-involved than I imagined. Almost fascinating.
“not sure, is reviving movies that no one saw desperate or brave?”
Good point. It seems like an odd choice indeed. At least Clerks 2 made sense. Where is Brothers McMullen 2: Back in Action?
I guess the link between his kind of indie film and reality tv was even thinner than i thought.
I can’t believe I wasn’t aware that he became a Gawker punchline.
“I guess the link between his kind of indie film and reality tv was even thinner than i thought.”
Harmony Korine sometimes seems like sublime reality tv and mumblecore often seems like a really slow sitcom.
I Can’t Believe I am Still Single, one of the best shows you will ever see.
Ah, why do you like I Can’t Believe I am Still Single so much? I might have to check it out. His self-love seems to know no bounds but it seems from Gawker’s description, he starts lapsing into unintentional self-parody.
“Harmony Korine sometimes seems like sublime reality tv and mumblecore often seems like a really slow sitcom.”
Yeah, it becomes hard to tell the borders between these forms. I’m not sure what the difference is between Trash Humpers and Jackass.
“I might have to check it out. His self-love seems to know no bounds but it seems from Gawker’s description, he starts lapsing into unintentional self-parody.”
It is self love mixed with self hate. Anyone who sees it would not be suprised that his next film is about S and M. He may just disappear one day into that world
Eric Schaeffer’s I Can’t Believe I am Still Single, one of Showtimes best ever shows is now free on Hulu, awesome
trailer for After Fall Winter
from variety: cannot wait for this
Often, writer-director-actor Eric Schaeffer’s work has distant echoes of Woody Allen’s, and so it is in “After Fall, Winter,” at least inasmuch as it sets his hero wandering nighttime Paris streets in search of romance. What he finds, however — including sexual fetishism, financial deprivation, suicide attempts and a dying gypsy girl — looms decidedly weirder and more explicit than anything in Allen’s canon. Though blessed with a radiant lead perf by Gallic thesp Lizzie Brochere, this limited release may polarize auds, who will judge whether Schaeffer’s wit and perception sufficiently balance his operatic self-pity.
The title proves more literal than its seasonal truism implies, since the film reps the second installment of a projected quartet, the first installment of which was 1997’s"Fall." The plan is for the pics to be spaced 14 years apart, all starring Schaeffer as writer Michael Shiver.
Like most of his endeavors, from “My Life in Turnaround” and “If Lucy Fell” to the more recent “We’re Out of the Business,” Schaeffer rarely strays far from the autobiographical, at least insofar as his own character is concerned. “Winter” finds Michael $600,000 in debt, unable to land a publisher for his latest novel, and evicted from his fashionable Gotham apartment. His life in free-fall, he contemplates suicide — but instead moves to Paris.
It’s there that the film opens, albeit not on Michael but on Sophie (Brochere), plunging immediately into her two seemingly contradictory vocations, as a dominatrix and a nurse to the terminally ill. (She takes a call from a dying woman, with the phone cord wrapped tightly around the throat of a nude, bound client.)
Once Michael arrives in Paris, the film briefly turns into a quirky romantic comedy, complete with requisite meet-cute and playful nocturnal strolls through the City of Lights. Michael trots out his repertoire of lightly outrageous pickup lines, shot through with disarming moments of painful honesty, to woo Sophie, who’s 15 years his junior.
But unleashed emotions resonate painfully between the damaged, thin-skinned lovers, drawn together only to skitter apart at every perceived wrong. They no sooner start to settle into a harmonious rhythm, expanding their circle to touch Sophie’s memory-damaged mother (Niseema Theillaud) and her 13-year-old leukemia patient (Marie Luneau, excellent), than their sexual secrets threaten their hard-won trust: Sophie says nothing of her whip-cracking alter ego, while Michael, who periodically employs dominatrices to externalize his sense of failure and self-loathing, denies any interest in S&M. What could have been comic soon turns tragic.
Schaeffer approaches film primarily as a writer-performer, controlling his flatly shot scenes from the inside, which serves to naturalize and energize exchanges between characters, but insufficiently encompasses a larger view. Uncomfortably confessional or wildly melodramatic plot twists work interestingly in the moment, but wobble in retrospect. Pic’s overarching structure is further weakened by Schaeffer’s half-hearted attempt to tie together loose ends.
Camera (color, HD), Zoran Veljkovic; editor, Frank Reynolds; music, Matthew Puckett; sound, Jerome Ayasse; supervising sound editor, Chen Harpaz; casting, Sylvie Brochere. Reviewed on DVD, New York, Jan. 21, 2012. Running time: 131 MIN.
Saw this trailer yesterday. I must admit, I’ve never heard of the guy.
Trailer didn’t really do much for me. RT quotes confirmed it.
“I must admit, I’ve never heard of the guy.”
Be very thankful. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
he is unique and this is more than could be said about many of the directors celebrated these days
I think of him as Eddie Burns’ ugly, evil twin brother. The Yin and Yang of preening, self-indulgent 90s indie cinema who are now washouts.
that’s one way to look at it
personally, I think both are more popular than ever
burns is interesting because he started as sort of an Irish Woody Allen then got caught up in odd movies that were more hit than miss and outside of that type (Looking for Kitty is the exception and his masterwork).
tyler perry just worked with burns. Perry told him, your most critically acclaimed film was about an Irish family. Your biggest hit was also about an Irish family and since both those films (Brothers and She’s the One, his first two films), you have not gone back to an Irish family. Burns immediately started writing an Irish story after that conversation.
Eric is different in that he seems to have turned his back on mainstream indie and let his ideas of S and M, guilt, religion and philosophy take his fancy. As a filmmaker these days he is comparable to pasolini, tho as a showman/promoter he is comparable to Howard Stern.
“Eric is different in that he seems to have turned his back on mainstream indie and let his ideas of S and M, guilt, religion and philosophy take his fancy. As a filmmaker these days he is comparable to pasolini, tho as a showman/promoter he is comparable to Howard Stern.”
It’s an interesting comparison, for sure.
Yeah, I remember when the Brothers McMullen came out (where my disdain for Burns started). I think it was one of the most profitable films of that year. I think he tried to stray too far from his own limits (as actor, writer and director).
After Fall, Winter
is available on demand (thru amazon.com). It is a sexually charged doomed romance with a sense of both grit and whimsy
the sequel to My Life in Turnaround showed up on showtime this week.
It is absolutely hilarious, funniest movie of the last few years me thinks