August 21, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Affliction

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
Wide Release Date
01/15/99
performer
James Coburn, Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, Willem Dafoe, Mary Beth Hurt, Jim True
director
Paul Schrader
distributor
Lions Gate Films
author
Paul Schrader
genre
Drama

STARRING Nick Nolte, Sissy Spacek, James Coburn, Willem Dafoe

DIRECTED BY Paul Schrader

Deck the halls with Prozac prescriptions; it’s time for another agonizing Russell Banks adaptation about souls in torment. This $6 million psychological drama by the author of The Sweet Hereafter tells the story of a small-town sheriff (Nolte) who investigates a hunting death that looks suspicious. ”But there is no murder, and he’s going crazy,” says Schrader (American Gigolo). ”I love leading an audience through shallow waters and then having the bottom drop out.” Contributing to the bleak story line was an equally desolate shoot in Montreal. ”It was 20 below,” Nolte recalls. ”The camera operator would turn on the camera and run into the car, and the actors would do the scene and run back into the car, then Schrader would say, ‘Well, what do you think?’ and we’d all say, ‘Yeah, that was a pretty good take.”’ (Late December)

THE LOWDOWN ”It’s not one of those films a lot of people will get or even want to see,” says Nolte, ”but it’ll definitely have a good shelf life.”

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