Not to take anything away from director-writer Paul Schrader or his recently released The Card Counter, but the thing that held my interest during the below Zoom interview between Schrader and Santa Barbara Film Festival honcho Roger Durling…the thing that really put the hook in as I watched and listened last night…what matters most right now are Durling’s magnificent Jack Nicholson-styled, red-mud-with-a-hint-of-amber reading glasses.

All my adult life I’ve wanted to own a pair, but I somehow never got around to it. Okay, I never pursued them because I suspected they were out of my price range. Durling informs that the manufacturer is Jacques Marie Mage, and that the basic price is $650 per pair. And that’s without the crafting and insertion of prescription lenses.  

Obvious question: Why doesn’t some enterprising second-tier designer create a knockoff version of Jacques Marie spectacles? Affordable by someone like myself? Glasses you could buy for, say, $150 or $200.

This enthusiasm in no way suggests that Durling’s Schrader interview is anything less than absorbing, intelligent, interesting. One of the most intriguing aspects is Schrader’s raspy voice. I remember interviewing him somewhere near the old Columbus Circle Paramount building at the time of American Gigolo (’80), and he was giving the exact same kind of answers back then.