Describing his Exorcist pre-quel, which is getting an unexpected new life onscreen after the studio trashed it, Paul Schrader talks about the central issue that drew him to the project.

His original prequel to The Exorcist seems very much in keeping with his own tradition – the descent into hell of men who allow their worlds to crumble. “What fascinates me are people who want to be one thing,” says Schrader, “but who behave in a way contradictory to that. Who might say, ‘I want to be happy, but I keep doing things that make me unhappy.'”

That sounds strangely like a particular turn of phrase that another Paul uses… in Romans 7:15: “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

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