On February 20, Calvin hosted a lecture and panel discussion highlighting the transcendental style of filmmaking in light of Schrader’s film, First Reformed, and book, Transcendental Style in Film.
“Spirituality in art is about the how not the what,” said Paul Schrader. “Transcendental filmmakers have a different agenda, they want to draw audiences closer to transcendental world, using cinematic technology to bring the audience into the holy.”
West Michigan roots reflected in film
Schrader, West Michigan native and a graduate of Calvin College, is a celebrated filmmaker, screenwriter
Schrader began exploring his love of film after graduation. “When I was a kid, if you had an idea, I thought it could only be expressed in words or a piece of music. I didn’t realize images could be ideas too,” said Schrader. “At the time, the Reformed view of
The Loeks Visiting Film Artist Series, sponsored by Celebration! Cinema and Calvin College, presented a pre-release screening and the Michigan premiere of First Reformed on February 19. First Reformed, starring Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, follows the journey of a grief-stricken chaplain in upstate New York. “I’ll never have a screening better than that,” said Schrader about the premiere at Celebration! Cinema. “We had a full house of people that understood the full extent of the subtext.”
First Reformed has been widely acclaimed by critics and will be released to the general public later this spring.
Calvin hosts lecture featuring Schrader
Schrader is also the author of a widely-anthologized article on film noir, and the book Transcendental Style in Film, soon to be published in a revised edition by University of California Press. “For years, Schrader’s book has been the go-to for anyone studying religion and film,” said Roy Anker, Calvin professor of English emeritus.
Following the pre-release, Calvin hosted a lecture and panel discussion February 20 in the Recital Hall highlighting the transcendental style of filmmaking in light of Schrader’s film, First Reformed, and book, Transcendental Style in Film. The lecture and discussion, titled “Religious Film and the Transcendental Style,” featured Schrader and panel discussants Roy Anker, Nicholas Wolterstorff, and Calvin film and media student Garrett Strpko.
Transcendental style and First Reformed
As seen in First Reformed, transcendental films are marked by
Schrader said that in the slow moments of
Schrader said that films today have an average of five times as many cuts than in the 70s. “We have trained ourselves to absorb information overload.” The transcendental style of