20th Century Flicks:
Dir: Paul Schrader, 1979, USA, 109 mins, Cert: 18
Thu 12 July // 20:00
Tickets: £5 (full) / £4 (concession)
Jake Van Dorn (George C. Scott), a successful businessman and strict Calvinist conservative living in an idyllic suburban Midwest, finds his life shattered when his teenage daughter goes missing during a church-sponsored trip to California. When a private investigator discovers that she has appeared in an explicit stag film, Van Dorn has to dive into the sleazy Los Angeles pornographic underworld to track her down, an odyssey which will test his religious convictions to their limits.
Having made his directorial debut with Blue Collar one year earlier, Paul Schrader returned to the territory of Taxi Driver (which he had scripted) for his second film as writer-director: a contemporary retelling of The Searchers exploring the crisis of masculinity in a lurid, amoral urban environment. Anchored by a typically intense lead performance from Scott and strong support from Peter Boyle and Season Hubley, this is one of Schrader’s most penetrating examinations of faith, alienation, and the irreconcilable contradictions of the American Dream.