Few thought that Paul Schrader would ever achieve the same level of success as his early screenplays for “Raging Bull” and “Taxi Driver,“ but now, in his seventies, the writer-director is back at the top of his game in the Venice Film Festival.
His concern right now, when he presented “Master Gardener,” his most recent film starring Sigourney Weaver and Joel Edgerton, at the Venice Film Festival, is if he will ever be able to do another.
“I can’t breathe,” the 76-year-old bluntly told AFP at the festival, visibly struggling. “I couldn’t direct a game of miniature golf right now.”
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The mysterious illness doctors are unsure whether it is his lungs or his heart came on earlier this year just as he was finishing “Master Gardener”.
“When I got to the hospital, it turned out I’d been sick for a week with influenza at night in Louisiana,” he said. “I could be back in the hospital tomorrow.”
The film follows a gardener with an extremely dark past, trapped in a love triangle with powerful racial overtones.
“We don´t think of Paul Schrader as writing big parts for women. But he’s created, at this time in his life, two very red-blooded women,” Weaver told AFP.
A loose trilogy of movies about tough, broken men seeking forgiveness that started in 2017 with “First Reformed” and continued with “The Card Counter,” which also had a successful Venice debut last year, comes to a close with “Master Gardener.” Edgerton, an Australian actor who has since emerged as one of the most in-demand performers, admitted that he was a major “First Reformed” fan back when it first came out.
The film had its world premiere at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 3, 2022. The genre of the movie falls into an American independent crime thriller film of 107 minutes. Here is what Paul recently said about the movie