Paul Schrader to Shoot Noir Film About Sexual Obsession

Paul Schrader to Shoot Noir Film About Sexual Obsession

©Photo by Nobuhiro Hosoki 

Filmmaker Paul Schrader has disclosed that his next directing project will be titled Non Compos Mentis, a film noir that will deal with sexual obsession and irresponsibility  “Non compos mentis” is a Latin legal term translated as “of unsound mind.” More specifically, Schrader says that his new film will explore “the stupid things men do for love.”

Schrader revealed his plans at a press conference in Cannes this week, where his latest film, Oh Canada is making its debut. That movie is about a writer/filmmaker named Leonard Fife, an American draft resister who fled to Canada during the Vietnam War. With his life now coming to an end, Fife (played by Richard Gere and Jacob Elordi) has agreed to have his story documented by two filmmakers who must deal with Fife’s failing memory.

According to published reports, Schrader has the financing in place for Non Compos Mentis and is already in the casting process along with his producer Daniel Gonzalez. Jamie Dornan was reputedly Schrader’s choice for the lead role, but he opted out due to the sexual aspects of the screenplay. Though he had some health issues recently, the 77-year-old Schrader quipped that he is now in a “post-dying” era of creativity.

Schrader first came to prominence nearly half a century ago when he penned the screenplay for Martin Scorsese’s iconic Taxi Driver (1976). He also wrote the script for Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Among the notable films Schrader has  directed over the years include American Gigolo (1981), Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), and First Reformed (2017), which won him an Oscar nomination in the Best Original Screenplay category.

In 2023, Schrader was quoted as saying that he’d written a screenplay titled Three Guns at Dawn, which he asked Antoine Fuqua to direct. The movie, set in the South Central district of Los Angeles, focuses on the narrative of three brothers—a corrupt policeman, a serial killer, and a drug dealer—who are mortal enemies.

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