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Despite her notorious behavior on the set of the very film he directed her in, Paul Schrader continues to believe in Lindsay Lohan.

In a the industry rag Film Comment, Paul makes a comparison many would balk over: LiLo and the late, great icon Marilyn Monroe.

While she's pretty famously unable to totally recreate Marilyn (remember that NY Magazine photo shoot?), Paul draws some pretty fair comparisons, both good and bad: "Similarities? Tardiness, unpredictability, tantrums, absences, neediness, psychodrama—yes, all that, but something more, that thing that keeps you watching someone on screen, that thing you can’t take your eyes off of, that magic, that mystery."

Paul says it's the very train wreck that some people dismiss that makes them amazing, and that we're fascinated by the lack of control. "We sense that the actress is not performing, that we are watching life itself," he says, "We call them 'troubled,' 'tormented,' 'train wrecks' — but we can’t turn away. We can’t stop watching. They get under our skin in a way that controlled performers can’t."

He adds that it's a "treat" to work with the famously troubled actress. He hints that she has a kind of natural iconography that draws a lot of us to pop culture in the first place, saying that he "can shoot around misbehavior," but he "can't shoot around lack of charisma."

Maybe, he asks, Lindsay is even better than Marilyn. "I think Lohan has more natural acting talent than Monroe did, but, like Monroe, her weakness is her inability to fake it."

Marilyn, he says, definitely had some advantages over LiLo: "She was the product of a culture that mandated public responsibility [...] To be taken seriously one had to appear serious: study your craft, be mentored, read literature, respect your creative elders, marry a playwright, get the support of an established theater group or studio. To receive the system’s rewards — fame, money — you playacted by the system’s rules. And Monroe did."

"I just wish it was easier for Lindsay," he concludes.

Read all of Paul's thoughts on Film Comment, and let us know what you think! Is Lindsay like Marilyn Monroe? Better, even?

h/t: Gossip Cop