Paul Schrader should make a comedy. When I interviewed the guy for the release of his version of the Exorcist prequel he certainly didn’t come across as grim, but his chosen movie subject matter certainly indicates the need for a smile or two. And his latest won’t be a gut-buster, that’s for sure – it’s about a clown in a concentration camp.
No, it’s not a remake of the lost Jerry Lewis classic, The Day The Clown Cried. It’s an adaptation of Israeli writer Yoram Kaniuk’s novel, Adam Resurrected, about a circus clown spared the gas chamber so he entertain the other prisoners. He goes insane and ends up in an asylum in the US filled with other Holocaust survivors.
It actually sounds like Schrader is going to be tackling a concept that he looked at in his awful Exorcist film, the survivor guilt felt by those who made it through the Holocaust. He’s one of the few directors who actually continues to examine the deeper and darker themes of things like morality and guilt, so while I would love to see him lighten up a bit, it’s great that we have him doing films like this.
And you know, I guess that the more I think about it, Auto Focus counts as a Paul Schrader comedy.