Filmmaker Paul Schrader has been set to receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Film Festival. The Raging Bull and Taxi Driver screenwriter will be presented with the honor during the 79th edition of the event which runs August 31- September 10 on the Lido.
In accepting the award, Schrader said, “I am deeply honored. Venice is the Lion of my heart.”
Schrader was last in Venice in 2021, with crime drama The Card Counter which he also directed and which starred Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish. Prior to that, his 2017 First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, debuted on the Lido and was later nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Schrader’s other directing credits include Cat People and American Gigolo. He also wrote such films as Obsession, The Yakuza and The Last Temptation Of Christ.
The decision on the Golden Lion was made by the board of the Biennale di Venezia, which embraced the proposal of the Festival’s Director, Alberto Barbera.
Commented Barbera, “Paul Schrader is a key figure of New Hollywood who, from the late 1960s on, has revolutionized the imagination, aesthetics, and language of American film. It is not an exaggeration to affirm that he is one of the most important American filmmakers of his generation, a director who is deeply influenced by European film and culture, and a stubbornly independent screenwriter who nonetheless knows how to work on commission and confidently move within the Hollywood system. The daring visual stylization that informs all his movies puts him among the most up-to-date exponents of a type of cinema that is unreconciled and subtly investigates contemporaneity. Schrader measures himself against this contemporaneity not only with tireless intellectual and compassionate curiosity, but also with a surprising ability to navigate film’s technological evolution, as well as its production and distribution systems. Thanks to this daredevilry (which not many filmmakers of his caliber are willing to attempt, in the mature phase of their careers), Schrader not only continues to work but in recent years he has also given us some of his most beautiful films.”