Auto Focus (Paul Schrader – 2002) B+

Another Paul Schrader film thanks to Criterion Channel’s collection. This one is much better than the other one I saw. Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear) hit it big in the 60’s with the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes”. He apparently was also a shallow and uninteresting man. Yet, Schrader makes a very compelling film about him focusing on his odd friendship -if we can call it that- with an electronics expert called John Henry Carpenter played by Willem Dafoe. Both actors do an excellent job here. This is in the early days of video recorders. Bob is famous and finds out that he can use his celebrity to pick up women. Soon they are partying together, having threesomes foursomes and orgies and recording everything to watch later. John is a slime ball and Bob is a weak empty shell of a man. This cannot end well and it does not.


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