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Paul Schrader and Ed Lachman at BAM

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[Editor’s Note: As part of his retrospective at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, cinematographer Ed Lachman took to the stage with director Paul Schrader on Tuesday, May 20th, 2008 to discuss their collaboration on Light Sleeper. The House Next Door’s Kevin B. Lee was there to film the event. See below for the conversation, spread over three clips and indexed as to points of interest.]

Part 1

0:00 - The origins of the film
2:30 - Bresson, Pickpocket, and the Schrader tetralogy
6:05 - Cinematography: arguing about gels
7:30 - Soundtrack: almost getting Dylan


Part 2

0:00 - Developing the look of the film
2:00 - Shooting for cuts, not coverage
3:30 - The death of the well-made film (“When did Martin Scorsese get so old?”)
4:55 - Breaking the 180 rule: the cafeteria scene
6:50 - Problem-solving on the set
7:55 - Shooting in New York City


Part 3

0:00 - On improvisation
1:05 - On Vermeers and nude love scenes
3:15 - On cheap cologne and talismans
4:50 - Working with garbage
5:25 - Crime and the drug culture: how crack ruined cocaine
6:40 - Setting Willem Dafoe up with Paul Schrader’s dealer
8:00 - On Paintings
8:45 - The Woman Question

Kevin B. Lee is a filmmaker based in New York City. He has written for Cinema-Scope, The Chicago Reader, Senses of Cinema and Slant. His website is