Paul Bartel  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Paul Bartel (August 6, 1938 – May 13, 2000) was an American actor, writer and director. Bartel was perhaps most known for his 1982 hit black comedy Eating Raoul, which he wrote, starred in and directed.

However, it was his groundbreaking short film, The Secret Cinema, about a young woman named Jane who begins to suspect that her boyfriend and her office associates are conspiring to make a film of her daily life that is being shown in a downtown theater on Saturday nights, for the cruel amusement of the in-crowd. The film has often been imitated, notably by the Peter Weir picture, The Truman Show

Paul Bartel also appeared as an actor in several films. Some of his other well known cameos were in the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000, which he also directed, and the 1979 cult classic Rock 'n' Roll High School alongside Eating Raoul co-star Mary Woronov. Bartel made a short appearance in Tim Burton's short film Frankenweenie as Victor's science teacher.

Bartel directed ten movies, mostly low-budget comedies that he was hired to direct after the success of Eating Raoul. He sometimes contributed to the writing of these movies as well. A typical Bartel film of this period stars one or more "B-list" celebrities, includes modest sexual content (often presented ironically), a song and dance routine, and a cameo by Bartel himself.

He also made many guest appearances on TV shows. Bartel died May 13, 2000 of a heart attack, following liver cancer surgery two weeks prior.

Selected filmography


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