Auto Focus

The man who directed the cinematic classics American Gigolo and The Comfort of Strangers and penned movie milestones Taxi Driver and Raging Bull proves he still has exceptional skills in Auto Focus. Paul Schrader directs this riveting biopic that follows the late actor, Bob Crane, through his phases as Mr. Rogers to Wilt Chamberlain to Larry Flint. Greg Kinnear plays the Hogan’s Hero who had it all: the wife and two kids, the hit sitcom, the limelight and the cardigan sweaters. He also had a personal porn photo hobby, sexual addictions, group orgies, multiple mistresses and a shamelessly persistent leech of a friend (Willem Dafoe). As these dirty secrets quickly got revealed, the TV star instantly became a social pariah. Schrader skillfully mirrors this downward spiral through the increased use of shaky hand-held camera work, a slow degradation in the quality of film and the implementation of dark, gritty color tones and ominous music. Bob Crane mysteriously was murdered in 1978, and although this film does not provide a direct answer as to the killer’s identity, it does offer an intelligent and insightful look into part of Hollywood’s controversial past.

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