First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

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John Cope
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#76 Post by John Cope » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:58 pm

McCrutchy wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:09 pm
Really looking forward to the audio commentary.
Schrader's commentaries are always good--engaged, insightful and revealing. He's one of the most reliable and best.

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mfunk9786
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#77 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:05 am

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:20 pm
Amazon just canceled my preorder?
Same here. And It's 'Currently Unavailable.'

Glad to hear about the bonus features though.

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mfunk9786
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#78 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:19 am


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Persona
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#79 Post by Persona » Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:29 pm

This is out on digital video now. I wrote a piece about it's transcendental adjacency

I'm still thinking about this movie and I don't think I will stop any time soon.

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acroyear
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#80 Post by acroyear » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:49 pm

Geez, and I was really hoping the time the pre-order was down that the cover art was being reworked.

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mfunk9786
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#81 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:55 pm

Ooh, it's in UHD on FandangoNOW! Bought. This is a movie I am particularly thrilled to have in that resolution, will have to rent the disc to watch the commentary or something. Of course, Lionsgate continues to be a Movies Anywhere holdout...

nitin
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#82 Post by nitin » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:54 am

Saw it today at the Melbourne International Film Festival and thought it was excellent, even though it wasn’t quite at the same level as the three movies it evoked: Taxi Driver, Winter Light and Diary of a Country Priest.

Re the ending,
SpoilerShow
one aspect that seemed relevant to me that has not yet been discussed is Toller’s question soon after Michael’s suicide: what are the final thoughts of a dying man (or words to that effect)? To me, the ending would seem to be a direct playing out of that earlier question from Toller.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#83 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:39 am

I hope a 4K disc is forthcoming, too.

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mfunk9786
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#84 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:02 am

What A Disgrace wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:39 am
I hope a 4K disc is forthcoming, too.
Very doubtful at this point. Guessing it won't be a massive seller for Lionsgate, and it's not their film, it's A24's. They did one for Moonlight, but that won Best Picture. The Florida Project didn't even get one, and that was lingering around that Best Picture conversation. A24 picked the worst possible home video studio to work with on their Blu-ray releases, one that only bothers with 4K discs when it's an action or horror film. Or Dirty Grandpa.

Luckily, the streaming UHD looks awesome. And this is a film that really benefits from HDR, with a lot of clean white in the church that gently pops off the screen.

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whaleallright
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#85 Post by whaleallright » Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:56 am

nitin wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:54 am
Saw it today at the Melbourne International Film Festival and thought it was excellent, even though it wasn’t quite at the same level as the three movies it evoked: Taxi Driver, Winter Light and Diary of a Country Priest.

Re the ending,
SpoilerShow
one aspect that seemed relevant to me that has not yet been discussed is Toller’s question soon after Michael’s suicide: what are the final thoughts of a dying man (or words to that effect)? To me, the ending would seem to be a direct playing out of that earlier question from Toller.
SpoilerShow
This was my preferred reading as well: it's an image of redemption that he conjures up in his dying moments. Schrader is playing the same game here as he was with Taxi Driver's ending. In both cases there is a jarring shift in tone, but no formal device to clearly signal a shift from "reality" to the imaginings of a dying (or dead) man.

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domino harvey
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#86 Post by domino harvey » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:33 pm

hearthesilence wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 11:09 pm
Schrader's usual influences worn on his sleeve - there are scenes that play like direct quotes...
SpoilerShow
and the final shot quite beautifully evokes the final words to Robert Bresson's PICKPOCKET: "Oh, Jeanne, to reach you at last, what a strange path I had to take."
I was reading this thread backwards after finally seeing the film and could not believe no one had made this connection. Thank God, I was about to get so disappointed with this board!
SpoilerShow
I'm not sure where I come down on this film overall in terms of how much I liked it, though as to the pertinent burning questions of the thread, I believe in Hawke's faith as genuine but symptomatic (as is Seyfried's, we were prepared for this by the film) and as in Pickpocket I not only believe the ending is real but believe it is the entire point of all that came before it. How fascinating to learn that it took Schrader three tries in writing the film to arrive there! The other two proposed endings would have been fatal errors, and left me with no desire to look deeper. I really don't even know what to say to those who read the ending as phony (of course, I don't buy it with Taxi Driver either), I feel like Hawke at the youth group with some of you! I think Schrader is aware of the awesome power of that final shot and gives viewers a window out if they can't meet it at its level, but why would you deny yourself the pleasures of life?

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Cold Bishop
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#87 Post by Cold Bishop » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:08 am

SpoilerShow
I also found pretty distinct echoes of Obsession's final moments... funny, considering De Palma imposed that ending/Schrader hated him for it.

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barryconvex
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#88 Post by barryconvex » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:50 pm

This is definitely one of Schrader's best works and on the short list with his other two classics-Mishima and Blue Collar. Still mulling it over but the ending struck me as
SpoilerShow
a somewhat inverted take on Taxi Driver meets The Last Temptation Of Christ. Whereas Travis plays out his avenging angel fantasy in an attempt to rescue the girl who doesn't want rescuing, Toller (seemingly) rescues himself after retreating from carnage but at the cost of reneging on his holiness. Both endings have varying degrees of ambiguity but i'm always inclined to take those sorts of things at face value. It also seemed like Seyfried (who has the most beautiful eyes in all of cinema, like Anna Karina before her) plays both the Cybill Shepherd and Jodie Foster roles simultaneously. It's a more complex performance than it might seem as she has to play damaged without dipping into pathos. She's not the unattainable ice goddess that Shepherd was in TD but she's not exactly the picture of warmth either. I thought it was the best work she's ever done.

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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#89 Post by Finch » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:29 am

FIRST REFORMED is in my opinion very good at least. I'd like to see it again some time down the line to see how it holds up for me but I have a feeling it will.

I particularly like an early scene where Michael talks to Toller about his anxieties caused by the state of today's world and Toller tries to reassure him yet he doesn't really believe in a higher power anymore. I'd suggest to anyone who felt that the film goes off the rails in the last 30 minutes or so to watch it again. Toller's doubts were there from the beginning.

And there's a moment perhaps midway through that involves Toller and Mary that took my breath away - you'll know when you see it yourself. Another scene on a staircase with Toller and Esther who is in love with him was shocking to me in its emotional cruelty. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the score by Lustmord which is odd since I liked their older recordings that I saw on Youtube.

What a fascinating film!

dda1996a
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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#90 Post by dda1996a » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:18 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:33 pm
hearthesilence wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 11:09 pm
Schrader's usual influences worn on his sleeve - there are scenes that play like direct quotes...
SpoilerShow
and the final shot quite beautifully evokes the final words to Robert Bresson's PICKPOCKET: "Oh, Jeanne, to reach you at last, what a strange path I had to take."
I was reading this thread backwards after finally seeing the film and could not believe no one had made this connection. Thank God, I was about to get so disappointed with this board!
SpoilerShow
I'm not sure where I come down on this film overall in terms of how much I liked it, though as to the pertinent burning questions of the thread, I believe in Hawke's faith as genuine but symptomatic (as is Seyfried's, we were prepared for this by the film) and as in Pickpocket I not only believe the ending is real but believe it is the entire point of all that came before it. How fascinating to learn that it took Schrader three tries in writing the film to arrive there! The other two proposed endings would have been fatal errors, and left me with no desire to look deeper. I really don't even know what to say to those who read the ending as phony (of course, I don't buy it with Taxi Driver either), I feel like Hawke at the youth group with some of you! I think Schrader is aware of the awesome power of that final shot and gives viewers a window out if they can't meet it at its level, but why would you deny yourself the pleasures of life?
SpoilerShow
I felt the same way. Just like his American Gigolo and Walker (and I'm assuming Light Sleeper too, just haven't seen it yet), Schrader is too influenced by Pickpocket for this final scene to be anything than a real redemption. By the way, was I the only one who found the cut to black jarring? (and it didn't need to really be jarring)
I sort of liked this. I still vastly prefer Gigolo and Mishima (and sadly haven't seen the other great Schrader films, Blue Collar, Light Sleeper, Hardcore and Affliction), but the more I think I about this film the less I like it. Not because it's bad or the ending (which I talk about in the spoiler, and I found moving), but mostly because I kept thinking of every other movie Schrader works to hard to reference or even downright copy. It doesn't help that I've read his introduction to Transcendental Style in Film and heard some interviews with him, and that I've also seen Winter Light literally a few months ago.
I just couldn't get rid of constantly thinking about better films and directors I like more.
As to that scene in the middle, I found it very moving at first (if it is again downright stealing from Tarkovsky) but I soon disliked where Schrader took it. It felt very obvious and ruined the magic of the scene.
I still admire this film for even being made today in America, but I just wish Schrader would have made something that could feel indebted to his influences but still feel unique and different. Not just a remake of Winter Light and Taxi Driver with Bresson and Tarkovsky thrown in.

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Re: First Reformed (Paul Schrader, 2018)

#91 Post by Reifferschizzle » Thu Oct 18, 2018 6:15 am

dda1996a wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:18 am
I sort of liked this. I still vastly prefer Gigolo and Mishima (and sadly haven't seen the other great Schrader films, Blue Collar, Light Sleeper, Hardcore and Affliction), but the more I think I about this film the less I like it. Not because it's bad or the ending (which I talk about in the spoiler, and I found moving), but mostly because I kept thinking of every other movie Schrader works to hard to reference or even downright copy. It doesn't help that I've read his introduction to Transcendental Style in Film and heard some interviews with him, and that I've also seen Winter Light literally a few months ago.
I just couldn't get rid of constantly thinking about better films and directors I like more.
As to that scene in the middle, I found it very moving at first (if it is again downright stealing from Tarkovsky) but I soon disliked where Schrader took it. It felt very obvious and ruined the magic of the scene.
I still admire this film for even being made today in America, but I just wish Schrader would have made something that could feel indebted to his influences but still feel unique and different. Not just a remake of Winter Light and Taxi Driver with Bresson and Tarkovsky thrown in.
I know you're talking visual style, not script, but I do feel like this movie is so much about these concerns - climate change, megachurches - that could only really be addressed by someone living through the current era that I never felt like I was just watching a Tarkovsky or Bresson pastiche.

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