Paul Schrader

USA 1992. 103 Min.
Color. 35 mm.. E/d

John LeTour is 40 and stuck: even though he freed himself from addiction a few years ago, he still makes his way through night-time Manhattan as a dealer for the rich on behalf of the enigmatic drug-lady Ann, and he secretly yearns for a fresh start. All attempts to be reconciled with his old love Marianne fail in the face of her resolute rebuttals, and then the fortune teller, who is meant to give him a new direction, also warns him of betrayal by a woman close to him. Things get especially precarious when one of his best clients once again calls him up to his penthouse, and John meets Marianne there.


Paul Schrader himself has referred to Light Sleeper as the final act of his cinematic triptych about outsiders and recluses, which included Taxi Driver and American Gigolo. In addition, it was the beginning of an extremely fruitful collaboration with Willem Dafoe. But above all, this melancholy and oppressive psycho-thriller is another highlight in the director’s opus, who here not only presents one of his most elegant screenplays, but once again emerges as a genius of colour and composition. (pj)


Print: Österreichisches Filmmuseum, Wien


DirectorPaul Schrader
ScreenplayPaul Schrader
CinematographyEdward Lachman
EditingKristina Boden
MusicMichael Been
WithWillem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany, David Clennon
ProducerLinda Reisman

Paul Schrader