As director (of American Gigolo etc) and scriptwriter (Taxi Driver and Raging Bull), Paul Schrader has often revealed a fascination for the sexual obsessions of his characters. In Auto Focus, he portrays a man whose life is entirely dominated by sex: the American actor Bob Crane, leading man in the comic TV series Hogan's Heroes. Crane, who was killed in 1978 in mysterious circumstances, was a thankful object of study for Schrader. He was a man with two faces: a respectable husband and a woman eater. His obsession, that he recorded in countless photos and video tapes, finally led to his demise. Schrader puts the selfdestructive nature of Crane (brilliantly portrayed by Greg Kinnaer) in different contexts: from the naïve innocence of the 1960s and 70s to Crane's pact with the devil in the person of John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe), a Sony representative with the same obsessions. The two men become increasingly dependent on each other, and Schrader suggests some sexual tension.In America, Auto Focus led to division among the Crane's descendents. Schrader does not judge the actions of his protagonist. Auto Focus is an intriguing portrait of a man who embraces his demons as if they are his best friends. (Ab Zagt is film critic for the Algemeen Dagblad.)

Filmmaker
Paul Schrader
Premiere
-
Country
USA
Year
2002
Medium
35mm
Length
107’
Language
English
Producer
Focus Puller Inc.
Sales
Sony Pictures Classics