Oscar-nominated screenwriterand director Leonard Schrader died of heart failure in Los Angeles on Nov 2. In his work, Leonard shared hisyounger brother Paul Schrader's obsession with exploring death and violence.
Some of his best-known filmsare those he wrote with his brother, among them The Yakuza and Blue Collar. He also wrote and directed Naked Tango (1991) and received an Oscar nomination for hisscreenplay for Hector Babenco's Kiss Of The Spider Woman (1985.)
Other notable Schrader filmsinclude the 1981 documentary, The Killing Of America, which he wrote, produced and co-directed. The filmchronicled the rise in homicides in the US in the late 20th century. As thefilm pointed out, between 1900 and 1980, more than a million murders took placein the US, more than all the country's fatalities in all her wars.
Schrader was an expert onJapanese cinema. For four years, he taught English literature at a universityin Kyoto. In the late 1960s, when he was studying creative writing with NelsonAlgren and Kurt Vonnegut, he was introduced to Yukio Mishima. He becameobsessed with the novelist, who committed suicide in 1970 and co-wrote hisbrother's 1985 film, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.