Screen/Society--Precarious Living--"Blue Collar" (Paul Schrader, 1978) 35mm print
35mm Film Screening:
"Blue Collar" (Paul Schrader, 1978, 114 min, 35mm)
Paul Schrader's rarely screened directorial debut moved him to the front ranks of the New Hollywood with this politically savvy tale of working class suppression. Three Detroit autoworkers - Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, and Yaphet Kotto - are so alienated by their jobs that they decide to rip off the safe inside their own union office. What begins as an entertaining genre exercise takes a searing turn into the dark heart of 70's labor politics, where racial resentments are stoked by management to splinter class solidarities. Pryor has his funny moments, naturally- but he also gives his finest dramatic performance in this despairing, angry, and remarkably clear-eyed film.
"It's the perfect example of the type of film that major studios don't even have the guts to make anymore... perhaps more in tune today with what's going on in America and our greedy superficial culture than it was when it first came out." --Indiewire
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