Ethan Hawke stars in “First Reformed” as tormented pastor, Rev. Ernst Toller
ADK Film Society Screening Series @LPCA, v5.0, Opens with a Late-Career Masterpiece by the Writer of “Taxi Driver” & Director of “Affliction”
LAKE PLACID, NY — From writer-director Paul Schrader —whose films include “Taxi Driver,” “Affliction,” “American Gigolo,” “Blue Collar,” “Hardcore,” “Raging Bull” and “The Canyons”—comes a gripping thriller about a crisis of faith that is at once personal, political and planetary.
“FIRST REFORMED” opens the 2018-2019 edition of the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA), Version 5.0, on Friday and Saturday, September 14-15, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance by visiting lakeplacidarts.org or calling the LPCA box office at 518-523-2512; they will also be available at the door. To learn more about the Screening Series or other AFS programs, please contact AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or -588-7275 or email@example.com.
The film tells the story of Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke), a solitary, middle-aged parish pastor at a small Dutch Reform church in upstate New York on the cusp of celebrating its 250th anniversary. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the church is now a tourist attraction catering to a dwindling congregation, eclipsed by its nearby parent church, Abundant Life, with its state-of-the-art facilities and 5,000-strong flock. When a pregnant parishioner (Amanda Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband (Philip Ettinger), a radical environmentalist, the clergyman finds himself plunged into his own tormented past and equally despairing future, until he finds redemption in an act of grandiose violence. Cedric the Entertainer (billed as “Cedric Antonio Kyles) is featured as Reverend Joel Jeffers.
“This mesmerizing drama of a pastor’s crisis of faith feels like the movie Paul Schrader was put on this planet to make.” — Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“A fierce film [by Paul] Schrader, one of the crucial creators of the modern cinema…. Schrader excavates deep personal history and bares present-day anger and pain with a rare, wondrous intensity. ‘First Reformed’ is a devil-may-care film, made with the sort of reckless abandon… that only an established filmmaker who’s still in a hurry will yield to….” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Rated R (for some disturbing violent images); running time: 1 hr., 53 mins.
The 2018-19 AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues Friday and Saturday, November 9-10, 2018 and January 25-26, February 15-16 and March 15-16, 2019 and Thursday and Saturday, May 2 and 4, 2019 (films to be announced). And save the dates for the 17th Annual Lake Placid Film Festival, with screenings and related programs such as panel discussions taking place Friday through Sunday, October 26-28, 2018—to be kicked off Thursday evening, October 25th, by a special gala tribute to AFS-LPFF co-founder and current Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll, longtime film critic Kathleen Carroll, who was ahead of her time in recognizing the importance of such film directors as Federico Fellini, Francois Truffaut, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood. To learn more about the 2018 LPFF, please visit lakeplacidfilmfestival.org.
The historic, 1920s-era Palace Theatre is one of three main venues for the 2018 Lake Placid Film Festival, along with the Lake Placid Center for the Arts and LPFF headquarters, High Peaks Resort.
AFS Presents: Lake Placid Film Festival 2018, happening Oct. 25-28
Best-known as the organization that brings you the annual Lake Placid Film Festival (née “Film Forum”)—which, for the first time in its 19-year history, will be held in the fall, Friday through Sunday, October 26-28, to be exact, with a gala tribute to AFS-LPFF co-founder and current Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll kicking off the festival on Thursday evening, October 25—the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) has been doing innovative film programming on an ever-widening North Country canvas for more than 15 years now.
In addition to the Film Festival/Forum, the AFS has presented a slew of silent film classics—with live organ accompaniment—at the historic Palace Theatre in downtown Lake Placid; initiated a mostly monthly Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in September 2014, now in its fifth year; and played an instrumental role in the “Go Digital, Go Dark” campaign that resulted in several independently owned North Country movie theaters receiving the necessary funding to purchase and install digital equipment to enable to continue to operate as first-run film venues. In fact, the AFS, in an ongoing collaboration with the owners of one of those movie houses—the Strand Theater in Schroon Lake, NY, wrapped up its third season of special summertime programming in 2018 with a four-part “Tuesdays in August” series. It opened August 7th with an appearance at a screening of the Strand’s “regular” movie that week, “A QUIET PLACE,“ by Frank and Brina Cavoli, whose twins Evangelina and Ezekiel doubled in the film as the protagonist family’s baby. The series continued August 14th with a screening of the original, 1933 version of “KING KONG” hosted by film historian and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) contributor Jeremy Arnold, author of the TCM tie-in book “The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter.” That program was followed on August 21st by a screening of a new independent feature shot in Blue Mountain Lake, NY, “THE SONG OF SWAY LAKE,” with Jason Brill, a North Country resident who is featured in the film, on hand to introduce it and participate in a Q&A session with the audience following the movie. The series concluded on August 28th with an evening of Laurel and Hardy silent comedy shorts featuring live piano accompaniment by Ben Model (pictured below), who is the Resident Accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and who has been a frequent guest of the AFS at both its annual film festival as well as last year at the Strand.
Ben Model, resident silent film accompanist at the Museum of Modern Art, performs an original score that’s largely improvised on the spot, during a screening of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” at the 2016 Film Forum. Photo: Ben Stechschulte.
The Adirondack Film Society, in its dual role as the Adirondack Film Commission, is also in the process of developing a program to encourage filmmakers to make movies and shoot videos right here in Essex County, NY, and assist them when they are here, as well as to nurture homegrown filmmaking among the many talented artists already living in the region.
If you own or work for a locally based business that (or you are an individual who) can offer a service of interest to filmmakers, videographers or other visually based production companies—for example, camera operation, sound mixing, electrical work, location scouting, catering, lodging, etc.—please contact AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at 518-523-3456 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get listed, free of charge, in the filmmaker resource guide the Commission is currently developing.
When it comes to programming, the Adirondack Film Society doesn’t just screen films—it curates, analyzes, and seeks to help educate audience members about the films it presents. One way it often does this is by presenting the creators of the films themselves, in intimate, small-venue settings—where filmgoers can actually meet the filmmakers or, when they are presented remotely such as via Skype, experience these artists as real people.
Thank you for visiting adirondackfilmsociety.org and for your interest in, and ongoing support of, film as art and the art of filmmaking. See you at the movies!