First Reformed

 

 

Writing down to remember. Or to forget? For former military man Toller, the nightly diary entries are a bit of both, but above all a part of his slowly approaching end, which might also be a new beginning. With great effort, the ill pastor, who is tormented by the past, tries to find his feet as the minister of a small congregation in New York State, after losing his son in Afghanistan and his wife in the wake of the trauma. His acquaintance with Mary, whose husband is grappling with both himself and the thought of having a child together in a climate-troubled world, presents Toller with a new challenge. But the associated responsibility plunges the clergyman ever further into his own crisis of faith, which tears apart his body and soul. In his demanding, pictorially intense new drama, Paul Schrader spares neither his protagonist, who is masterfully and unselfishly portrayed by Ethan Hawke, nor his audience members, who quickly become willing to join his disconcerting spiritual journey. Filmed in the classic and compact Academy ratio, he creates an unequalled cinematic meditation, which is as painfully beautiful as it is human and harsh. (pj)

 

 

USA 2017
108 Min. Color. DCP. E/e

Director: Paul Schrader

Script: Paul Schrader

Camera: Alexander Dynan

Editor: Benjamin Rodriguez Jr.

Music: Nicci Kasper, Brian Williams

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric Kyles, Victoria Hill


 

International Competition 2018 "Cutting Edge"
Bildrausch 2018