He hadn't seen a single film until he was 18 years old. But he eventually turned out to be one of the best scriptwriters in Hollywood, a frequent and successful collaborator with Martin Scorsese, and an auteur director investigating self-destructive urban loners driven to near madness. Paul Schrader graduated from Columbia University and the film school of the University of California in Los Angeles. He worked as a film critic. After selling Yakuza, the first script that he co-wrote with his brother Leonard, he went on to write Taxi Driver, a grim tale of urban alienation, which was transformed to a groundbreaking and controversial film by Martin Scorsese. Schrader and Scorsese teamed up three more times in Raging Bull, one of the most acclaimed American films of the '80s, the controversial The Last Temptation of Christ, and Bringing out the Dead. He made his directorial debut with Blue Collar in 1978, followed by Hardcore and American Gigolo that brought him wider recognition. The sex industry was a theme he would frequent later in the remake of Cat People, Mishima, Auto Focus and 2007's The Walker, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival where he served as jury president. He also made literary adaptations: The Comfort of Strangers, Touch and Affliction. Influenced by Robert Bresson, Yasujiro Ozu and Carl Dreyer, and admiring William Faulkner, his 60-film canon he made for the Film Comment magazine starts with Renoir, Ozu, and Chaplin. "The way you keep a viewer or reader involved without simplification really strikes me as the pinnacle to which an artist should aspire", Schrader says, and his films and scripts never fall from that pinnacle.