Paul Schrader / US, 2017 / 113 min.
With First Reformed Paul Schrader (American Gigolo, screenwriter of Taxi Driver) returned to a subject he knows all too well: the strict Calvinism of his youth. This intelligent and daring thriller, however, is so much more than a look back: Schrader has made one of the most profound works of his career.
When his son dies in action, Toller (an impressive Ethan Hawke) decides to start a diary. In the course of nocturnal whiskey sessions, he describes his encounter with a young couple about to get married. The undertow of emotions he experiences threatens to disrupt his seemingly orderly life. The film was selected for the Golden Lion competition at the Venice Film Festival.
The films featured in Eye’s Previously Unreleased programme were screened at major national and international festivals, but were never released to Dutch cinemas. This year, too, Eye brings a choice of films previously selected for international festivals to Dutch film audiences to redress the balance.