2018 as a movie

Yes, it is that time of year when observers of many aspects of life create their personal list of the “Ten Best …..”, etc..

In 2018 I had the privilege of watching quite a few movies, but only one was unique in the manner in which it affected my emotions AND my thinking. It is a film that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in current events, ethics, and theology – or any one of those.

This film has been reviewed in The Tyee by Dorothy Woodend.

Two of the paragraphs of Woodend’s review are:

The temptation to look for an overarching idea or umbrella under which an entire year of films can be collected is something of a fool’s errand. But I am just that fool, and if there was one film that summed up the current moral moment, it was Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.

Schrader, to put it mildly, is an uneven filmmaker. Raised as a strict Calvinist he came late to movies, but went on to pen Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ, and directed American Gigolo. Sure, he has also made a number of horrendous films, but the man has something to say, and his latest, First Reformed, charges full force at religion, corporate malfeasance, environmental collapse and the agonized search for meaning. And I do mean agonized. This isn’t the most fun thing to watch over the holidays, but it is riveting in ways that I did not expect. Made with rigour and purpose, it is also possessed of a seriousness and mystery that’s rare in contemporary cinema.

The whole, excellent review can be accessed at:


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