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Faith, hope and extremism

First Reformed
Regissør: Paul Schrader
( USA)

CLIMATE / EXTREMISM: Paul Schrader has made a powerful, disturbing and socially relevant portrait of one of God's lonely men, with clear parallels to Taxi Driver.

"No matter what I do, the first sentence of my obituary will be 'the author of Taxi Driver,'" Paul Schrader said in a recent interview with the Jesuit magazine America. Schrader is best known as the screenwriter for four of Martin Scorsese's films, and especially for the aforementioned classic from 1976, but has also directed a large number of feature films himself. Among these are Hardcore (1978) American Gigolo (1980) Cat People (1982) Mishima (1985) Light Sleeper (1992) Affliction (1997) and Auto Focus (2002). And with First Reformed the now over 70 year old Schrader has made one of his best films as a director – if not the best.

It is therefore somewhat ironic that the film makes comparisons with Taxi Driver almost inevitable. But the parallels are many and obvious – although First Reformed is also quite a different beast. And, impressively, it can withstand the comparison.

Lack of forgiveness

"I'm God's lonely man," Travis Bickle said Taxi. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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