An erotic adaptation of Jacques Tourneur’s 1942 horror classic. In the film’s first sequence, like in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Schrader establishes a connection between sacrifice and the mystical union of panthers and an ancient tribe of humans. The plot centers around a young, ambivalent woman who goes to live with her brother in New Orleans. There, she discovers that being sexually aroused can turn her into a panther. The director, taking this premise as a starting point, delineates a romantic metaphor associating the discovery of desire and the primitive obsession with sex.
Born in Michigan. He started his career as a screenwriter in films such as Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976). His directorial debut was Blue Collar (1978). He teamed up again with Scorsese in Raging Bull (1980) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). He has directed Hardcore (1979), Affliction (1997), among others. Festival do Rio presents this year a retrospective of his work.