Various Films

A. S. Hamrah at n+1:

To that end, First Reformed is daring and unrelenting—it searches for and pinpoints real harm. Ten people walked out of the theater where I saw it, most of them Schrader’s age. I think they left because the film’s intensity was too much in a world where they had the option of seeing Book Club at a theater down the street.

Most people at the screening were younger, and they stayed put for an ending that includes a glass of Drano and a barbed wire vest. As I’ve tried to convey, the film is bleak. But contrary to what we’re told, I don’t think audiences want upbeat films in bad times. Hollywood takes advantage of bad times by telling people that’s what they want, because that’s what they were going to make anyway.

more here.