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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

BYO Anima: Trailering HIDDEN LIFE

1. The trailer is cut to suggest that the historical moment is not then, but now.

2. Those pull-quotes are…

3. Jörg Widmer.

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11 Responses to “BYO Anima: Trailering HIDDEN LIFE”

  1. MarkVH80 says:

    Regarding 1), it’s interesting how on-the-nose a lot of this dialogue (monologue?) sounds. Malick is probably cinema’s greatest chronicler of the internal spiritual life (YMMV on this, but I’m a huge fan) so to hear so much of this conflict expressed outwardly feels…weird.

  2. Bulldog68 says:

    He hasn’t made one movie I’ve liked. Sorry. I know the artistic community basically has an orgasm every time the new Malick drops like it’s manna from heaven, but I find his stuff pretentiously boring and easily forgettable.

    I get what you’re saying Mark re the on-the-nose dialogue, but maybe for fucking once his characters may be actually saying what they’re feeling instead of going into a 5 page dialogue explaining what they’re feeling and then a cut to stock footage from NASA and National Geographic.

  3. Bulldog68 says:

    While I rant, First Reformed sucked. There…I said it.

  4. leahnz says:

    i rather loathe ‘first ref’, tho hawke’s perf is good. it’s one of those deals. you are not alone (it’s a theme)

    i’ll always give mallick a go and this is not what i expected. good timing at least, thematically.

  5. Bulldog68 says:

    Maybe I remembered wrong Leah, but I thought there was nothing but gushy praise on this blog for Reformed. So I finally decided to give it a watch. I get ambiguous ending, but that was on a whole new level of disrespect for an audience that has spent two hours of their time with you.

    I get ambiguity, and in my mind something like the ending of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing is ambiguous. He doesn’t give you the answers, yet he tells a story that started when the day started and ended when the day ending.

    Afterward I read some of the critical reviews, some of which were falling over themselves at that ending being of great artistic merit. Bullshit.

  6. leahnz says:

    bulldog, i may have missed the ‘first reformed’ gush here but i’m not at all surprised (i can only assure you i was not a gusher/gushee).

    super OT obv but since the new mallick trailer doesn’t seem to be setting the blog alight, re first reformed: viewing experiences are personal and anecdotal, and i went in aware of the raves but i avoided details so i didn’t know hardly anything about it and was so disappointed – and i went with a friend who disliked it even more than i did so the post-flick analysis was brutal.
    SPOILERS it started out interesting/a bit thematically compelling but just descended into a dirge of cliches – i saw everything coming (and i don’t mean that in a skiting way, it was just predicable) and i didn’t buy the radicalisation of toller into such extremist thought and action the way it was portrayed – it wasn’t believable or compelling, really, just a bit forced – and the same tired gender essentialism, roles and POV was a bore. i kept thinking in the back of my head ‘surely this isn’t going to end the way it ends’, so there you go. i think it would have been a far more interesting movie if toller had gone through with it and blown them all to shit, at least that would have had some clarity and impact, really said something, albeit horrible.
    as it stands, i interpreted the very end as either he was ‘saved’ by her (ick) or he drank the drain stuff, died and then death-magined the rest, which is also kinda cliche and weak but at least not as tired as option 1.

  7. Stella's Boy says:

    I love First Reformed for about 30 minutes. Hawke is indeed fantastic and I found his conversations with the husband to be pretty compelling and provocative. But it falls apart in a hurry and by the end I really hated it. One of last year’s most overrated. As for Malick, doesn’t do much for me, but to be fair I’ve skipped his last couple movies.

  8. Christian says:


    “First Reformed” is great, but admittedly, it’s an experiment in style. Still has to work as a character drama, and if it doesn’t work for you, I understand. But as an example of Schrader’s Transcendental Style, it’s fantastic.

    I LOL’d at Leah’s “I saw it all coming” take. You saw the body-on-body scene coming, did ya?

    I chuckle especially because before my screening, I got to talk with Schrader, and I told him I had read an interview earlier that day in which he had obliquely discussed the film’s ending. I was pretty sure I had figured out what would happen at the movie’s conclusion, I told him.

    “I don’t think you have,” he told me with a smile.

    He was right! Boy, was he right.

  9. leahnz says:

    no christian ftr i didn’t see the floating coming, that would be silly (that bit was weird/esoteric at least, and like stella’s above and i also mentioned before, i did like the fist act)
    what i saw coming/guessed would happen next, just off the top of my head, was — SPOILERS:
    the suicide; tollar going down the rabbit hole into the husband dude’s world of bleak environmental existentialism and dread; discovering that the church was involved/corrupt; tollar responding to this in an uncharacteristically stupid manner somehow as he unravels from cognitive dissonance (not specifically a suicide bombing); that after he tells mary (mary! hurdur) DON’T COME TO THE CELEBRATION THING! that she would, in fact, show up at the church for the celebration thing; that when he sees her he’d pike out on his suicide bomb scheme because he can’t possibly esplode his mentee for whom he has a repressed boner and just do the suicide part, like the husband – and that she would stop him somehow because the love of a waaaay younger good bland blonde pregnant women is all you really need at the end of the day (and to put your tongue down her throat, which happens possibly after you’ve died – which i did not see coming or guess would happen from the flowchart of tropes and cliches – as the final scene leaves up in the air)

  10. Christian says:

    I can’t hold a candle to your cynicism, Leah. I suppose your reaction is *partly* Schrader’s fault, although the more predictable elements are, I think (?) he’d say, by design – but only to the end that you’re surprised/lifted/elevated by the conclusion, which you clearly were not.

    It’s OK not to like the film, although unlike you, I thought the film improved as it unspooled. I was genuinely horrified by what preceded the final shot – people inflicting hideous wounds on their person will do that to me, and no, I did *not* see those moments coming – but even before the (to me) startling ending, the body-on-body scene would put this film in rarified territory. That was The Scene of 2018 for me – amazing enough to forgive any number of cinematic sins, although again, I didn’t see many in “First Reformed.”

  11. leahnz says:

    not sure it’s cynicism, more like exhaustion

    (i’d watch it again like on cable, see how a second viewing holds up)

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon