[7 mins.] The legendary screenwriter & director Paul Schrader (Hardcore, Light Sleeper) is on this episode to discuss his new film, First Reformed. The film, which opens in NYC and LA on Friday, May 18th, stars Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried & Cedric Kyles (aka Cedric the Entertainer) and is being distributed by A24. Reverend Ernst Toller (Hawke) is 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 (Seyfried) asks Reverend Toller to counsel her husband, 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.
[37 mins. 52 secs.] Then Baltimore-based filmmaker Matt Porterfield (Putty Hill, I Used to Be Darker) makes his first appearance on the podcast. His new film, Sollers Point, was shot entirely in the Baltimore county titular neighborhood and stars McCaul Lombardi, Zazie Beetz, Jim Belushi, Lynne Cohen & Marin Ireland. Keith (Lombardi) is a 24-year-old drug dealer who is newly released from prison and living with his father (Belushi) under house arrest in Baltimore. He struggles to re-establish himself in a community scarred by unemployment, neglect and segregation. The film is opened this past week in Baltimore and opens in NYC and LA on Friday, May 18th thanks to Oscilloscope Laboratories.