“You start to see the connections between what they call luck and what we call grace. You start to see what they’re struggling for is some kind of divine magic that will protect them. That’s not different from a kind of spiritual longing.”
Part of Paul Schrader’s “man in a room” trilogy, Light Sleeper (1992) tracks the wanderings and goings-on of insomniac John LeTour, played by Willem Dafoe. The film, more of a tone poem, revels in nostalgia, from the melancholic soundtrack to the shots of a dirty decrepit New York. The film tracks LeTour as he delivers drugs to young white yuppies, but unlike other dramas dealing with drugs and the trajectory of street level dealers during the 1990s there is nothing celebratory or manic about the story’s presentation. LeTour, like many of Paul Schrader’s characters is Bressonian in psychology, alienated, isolated, and in spiritual conflict with himself.