Written and directed by Paul Schrader, the searing drama First Reformed stars Ethan Hawke as Rev. Toller, an upstate New York minister who becomes emotionally involved with the wife of a radical environmentalist. The closer Toller becomes to Mary (Amanda Seyfried), the more her husband’s actions prompts him to reevaluate his beliefs and his relationship he had with his late son, a soldier who died in combat. First Reformed premiered locally during this year’s SXSW Film Festival and opened May 25 in Austin. First Reformed marks the first collaboration between the Austin-born Ethan Hawke and Paul Schrader, the screenwriter of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead as well as the director of Blue Collar, American Gigolo, Cat People, Light of Day, Light Sleeper, Affliction, Auto Focus, and The Walker. Paul Schrader recently reclaimed his reedited 2014 Nicolas Cage CIA thriller Dying of the Light by recutting it without permission as Dark, which can currently be viewed at the Harry Ransom Center. The Austin Film Society also will screen Taxi Driver at the AFS Cinema from Friday, May 25 through May 31 as well as Cat People on May 25, 26 and 30. Paul Schrader and Ethan Hawke spoke with Lights Camera Austin during this year’s SXSW Film Festival.
Aired: May 24, 2018