Last night living legend Paul Schrader brought his stunning First Reformed to the Independent Film Festival Boston. Starring Ethan Hawke as a pastor struggling with his faith, the movie feels like a culmination of the obsessions with which this filmmaker has been wrestling onscreen for more than four decades. Some edited highlights from his Q&A moderated by critic Jason Gorber:
“Unspooling in the area’s most beautiful and historic independent venues, IFFBoston has a communal spirit I find restorative. It’s always my favorite week of the year. At a time when most folks like to stay in their houses and stream things, there’s no understating how great it feels to get out and share big-screen experiences with enthusiastic audiences.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/24/2018
“It’s a prismatic portrait, albeit an occasionally confusing one. Some of the footage feels revelatory and some of it just seems random. What works as connective tissue are the stunning musical performances to which the film returns at regular intervals, with Jones strutting her stuff in staging originally designed by the late Eiko Ishioka.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/19/2018
Just shy of a year after winning Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for her brilliant remake of Don Siegel’s The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola dropped by the Harvard Film Archive for a special screening and a wide-ranging Q&A with HFA curator Haden Guest. Some edited highlights of the conversation:
“A nerve-shredding, artsploitation action picture, with Ramsay mixing and matching elements of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and John Boorman’s Point Blank to create something audaciously all her own. You Were Never Really Here is an icky, rotgut noir filtered through a prism of abstract art. It’s like a Charles Bronson movie directed by Alain Resnais.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/12/2018
A QUIET PLACE * 1 / 2
Starring Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe and Cade Woodward. Screenplay by Brian Woods, Scott Beck and John Krasinski. Directed by John Krasinski.
“Paris, Texas is an almost impossibly perfect title for a film that filters American western iconography through the distinctly European lenses of Wenders and his brilliant cinematographer Robby Müller. This boldly elemental picture is like The Searchers with busted neon highway signs, full of magisterial landscapes as craggy as the face of its star.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 04/05/2018