Film Junk Podcast Episode #663: First Reformed


0:00 – Intro
11:00 – Review: First Reformed
38:55 – Prescribing Frank: Hardcore
1:14:00 – Other Stuff We Watched: Ibiza, Action Point, Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, Back to the Future
1:29:10 – Outro
1:32:40 – Spoiler Discussion: First Reformed

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  • Peter Harrison

    First! Reformed. Yours, Robert Downer Jr

  • James Collins

    What is wrong with the file download? It failed on me 9 times out of 10.

  • devolutionary

    Jay missed a golden opportunity to wax philosophical with Cliff and Norm over their participation in the House (I & II) movies. Did they have the same casting agent? Also apparently Charles Fleischer was there? Puh-puh-puh-puh-pleaaaaaze!
    “I’m gettin’ Schhhhhrraaaaaaderrrrrrred Uuuuup!”

  • Oso Jugo

    My sister waited on Ethan Hawke at a little cafe she worked at just outside Antigonish here. He has a cottage or house somewhere around here. She said he played the quiet game with his children to try and make them shut up. That story is true but this one that I’m about to relate I’m not so sure of, but it would be great if it were. Someone told me that they knew someone who worked at the Antigonish blockbuster who said that Ethan Hawke came in one time and rented Ethan Hawke movies.

  • Jameson

    I’m with Jay. First Reformed is the best film of 2018. And I had a much more literal reading of the ending than you guys.

  • devolutionary
  • Tommy

    ‘The library’ for Hardcore? C’mon, guys. You’re working boys. Give a couple bucks to rent a nice 1080p iTunes (or similar legit service) copy.

    I did when it was appearing on y’alls’ Letterboxds. Looked great.

  • tyler mikol

    Love the Indoctrination segment Sean. Teaching the kids young! It’s fitting also because your first movie is Back To The Future which contains Doc! InDOCtrination.

  • Samb

    I also have always thought the doctrine of predestination should be an incentive to laziness and hedonism — if you can’t earn your way in to heaven or screw up your slot, what’s the point of trying? Weirdly, though, the Calvinists were famously straight-and-narrow. My guess is the clergy knew the logical pitfalls of predestination, so they worked overtime convincing their flock that it was important to prove themselves worthy in the event they were chosen. The result was a real stick-up-the-ass of a religion — it’s (relatively) easy to convince people to avoid sinning if they’re convinced there’s an eternal reckoning, but to deny self-indulgence when there are zero consequences requires some off-the-charts repression. My father’s side of the family is descendant from Huguenots (French Calvinists), and they still equate indulgence with sin. Except those who’ve fallen off the path….raging alcoholics, as you’d expect.

  • Lori Cerny

    “… to deny self-indulgence when there are zero consequences requires some off-the-charts repression.”

    Uh, disagree. Religion is unnecessary if you have morals and wisdom.

  • Beat_C

    me, too – intriguing segment! personally i started watching stuff like “back to the future” or “star wars” with my kid quite a few years later (so i wouldn’t have to explain everything).

  • Matt the Kiwi

    I think Jay hit the nail on the head when he talked about the concept of god being omniscient requires there to be predestination. If god knows everything, he knows what’s going to happen next, he knows every choice you are going to make before you make it – therefore everything must be predetermined. To say otherwise is to claim that god doesn’t know everything (which is unacceptable to most religious doctrines). Sure, you can say that god chooses not to look into the future, but the fact that it’s a choice means that he could if he wanted to, so the future must already be set. Which is why prayer to me is somewhat amusing; god already knows what you want or need, he just really wants to hear you say it for some reason (and putting your hands together somehow ensures a good, clear connection).

  • Samb

    Lori — I don’t follow from what you said what the crux of our disagreement is. I’m referring to how the Calvinist clergy was ministering to their followers, which stipulates that those followers did value religion.

    Matt — could be. Logical proofs of the nature of God don’t interest me — to the extent I care about religion, I only care about how man acts, or directs others to act, in its name.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    Same(ish). I’m more interested in using logic to help convince people that the existence of god is highly unlikely. Would rather that man would stop acting in the name of religion altogether as it’s all open to interpretation.


    Please review Hereditary next week!

  • Frank Booth

    I have national security concerns about downloading this episode.

  • Oso Jugo

    Logic does not disprove God. You have a religion that does not include God. Let’s be honest here.

  • Oso Jugo

    Just because God saw what you were going to do does not mean that you didn’t have the free will to do it. If I see a man do something, I did not force his hand in the matter of his act. God has seen everything for all time, but it doesn’t follow from that that he forced the hand of any free creature. He just saw what they freely chose to do for all time and so they remain free to choose it when the moment arrives.

    It’s a strange thing isn’t it, for God to want to communicate with the creatures he has made, like a loving parent, right Mr. Darwin? Certainly if men weren’t commanded to at least pray when they needed something God would never hear their voices at all; but I can assure you, Mr. Voltaire, that in medieval accounts, there have been a few who have prayed solely out the love they had for God.

    It is bad thing to throw the baby out with the bath water, and because the world is filled with evil men who claim to be Christians, decide that there is no God to believe in.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    The widely accepted definition of religion: “The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.”
    Atheism is the absence of religion. If ‘not believing in something’ is a religion then is not believing in Fairies, Big Foot and rude Canadians also a religion?

  • The Fan

    Maybe this week we can do a movie that we can go see or rent

  • nate_austin75

    A mini-review of Thoroughbreds on a future show would be cool, watched it this week and thought it’s definitely one of the best movies of the year so far.

  • The Fan

    Really… Oceans 8 over hotel Artemis. Hereditary is a good pick tho.

  • Oso Jugo

    Man is religious by nature and so all men throughout the ages have worshiped some form of God, but modern men, being completely insane, have switched to worshiping mere men. In our day and age it’s usually some sort of government authority that is taken for God. Perhaps you stand in awe of the superheroes that people love to worship, who in the movies are usually just agents of the US government, i.e. Captain America. Or maybe you love all the alien god stuff that is becoming quite popular at the moment. Alien gods that create humans, as in Prometheus. Prometheus, being the name of a Greek god. The Scientologists worship aliens so why not you right?

    As for casting aspersions on the belief in God because he is invisible, as you allude to with big foot and fairies. DNA and cellular biology is essentially invisible to the human eye. It was completely invisible a couple of centuries ago. Would it have been crazy to believe in these things then because no one could see them, Poncho? The same goes for electricity. It’s essentially invisible and was only really discovered a couple centuries ago. Before then men thought that lightning was liquid fire. The virtue in air called oxygen, that keeps us all upright, is invisible. The heart of the argument about whether climate change is an actuality or not is over the invisible elements of the air. Atoms? Invisible. Only a short time ago, no one knew any of this stuff was there because it’s invisible, Khrushchev. Is it possible that God is invisible and beyond the reach of detection by shiny human gadgetry?

    Perhaps you just mean that the idea of Bigfoot and fairies in themselves are ridiculous? They’re not except in the distorted mind of scoffers such as yourself. Imagine?! An upright ape like animal living in the forest!! Who could believe such a thing as that? Will wonders never cease? As for fairies, the ancient Irish believed them to be just another class of demons who did not suffer the same guilt as those who fell into hell with Lucifer. Rude Canadians are a reality, I see them everyday.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    To answer your first question – I worship nothing except the holy trinity of Sean, Jay and Frank who thankfully only require a minimum tithe of US$1 per premium podcast (available now on bandcamp).

    With respect to your other points about belief and god being invisible, people far smarter than I have talked at length at how this argument is a non-starter because it could be applied to anything invisible that anybody believes in. For example, I have a clone of Frank in my basement. You don’t believe me? Why not? Because he’s invisible? Well, electricity, atoms and love are all invisible but you believe they exist don’t you? Did you ever think that no device has been invented yet that can detect invisible Frank clones? I have my Frank Clone; Bertrand Russell has his teapot in space; Carl Sagan has a dragon in his garage. Look these up if you’re interested but if not, that’s cool too – I have no beef with you. I have no problem with people believing in whatever they want to…provided it doesn’t create harm to others, affect government policies or detract from teaching useful things in schools.

    “Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or in exciting our sense of wonder.” – Carl Sagan

  • Oso Jugo

    The highly ordered universe itself and everything in it; does it not make a good claim for a creator of some sort?

    Oh no, you say, the universe exploded out of the great and sacred black hole of nothingness of yore. The blessed and holy big bang explosion was set of by the god of nothingness who had become bored with the increasingly blasphemous status quo. Besides, he, Cthulhu and the other elder gods, had made a wager on whether he could do it or not.

    In the scientology cult you’re in, who set off your big bang? Was it Xenu, or ET? Who did that? What is the particular dogma that you adhere to on these matters. Do you look to Fr. Einstein or Fr. Dawkins, or perhaps Fr. Nye, for that particular answer? Which particular alien was it who seeded the earth with life? It couldn’t be God because we can’t test that claim with a few beakers and test tubes. Howard the duck did it perhaps? What would the high witch doctor Sagan say on this matter?

    I have no doubt that there was a dragon in Sagan’s garage, my friend. And now that Sagan has passed on from this mortal coil, I can only assume that he and the dragon have become warm associates.

  • Oso Jugo

    Whoever deleted my response will rue the day. The day will be rued. (edit: oh, disqus tells you when something is detected as spam)

  • Matt the Kiwi

    Lots of questions so let me try and answer them in the order in which they’re asked.
    No, because then that simply leads to the next question – who created the creator.
    Don’t know / Don’t think so / Don’t know / No dogma – just happy to have the answer as ‘don’t know’ instead of ‘god did it’ / All good places to start / We don’t know how life started yet…we may never know / Unlikely it was Howard the Duck – if he was that powerful he surely would have made the movie about himself less shit / Sagan would say we don’t know a lot of these answers but it’s important to keep searching for evidence and testable theories rather than invoke the ‘god of gaps’.

  • Oso Jugo

    The creator is eternal and uncreated. The unmoved mover. The ancient philosophers discussed it ages ago.

    “Don’t know” is your dogma, and your egghead witch doctors are magnificent nitwits who talk so much you would think their god was the god of the yaps. I mean, they had you believing for a long time that lightning struck a puddle of water and alakazam kalamazoo , life was created. That’s how desperate your cult is for some sort of explanation. Now you’ve just given up that theory and people like Dawkins are slowly just saying, “yep, it’s probably aliens.” What’s it like to be in a cult? When do you think Fr. Dawkins will prophesy that the mother ship is coming to pick us all up, and that we should just quietly drink our kool aid?

    How does evolution make an eye when every minute part of an eye is necessary for it’s basic function, without which there is no functioning eye? There is either an eye that works or there is not. There are no half steps to a working eye. Don’t even mention how many half steps it would take just for both eyes to get placed in the right part of the head. What is like to bring blindness upon yourself by believing in things as mind searingly stupid as the theory of evolution? Fr Darwin has made a fool of you, and when you go to the afterlife it would be better for you if you said that you believed that Star Wars was real than to admit you believed in the theory of evolution.

    Is there still a hole in the ozone layer or was that just egghead nincompoopery too? Put a labcoat on someone and masses of poor sods like you think Moses has come down from the mountain. Ever hear of antichrist? That’s what all these little Dr. Wilys and Dr. Frankensteins you take for Plato and Aristotle are. They are antichrist. They figure out how to make penicillin and processed cheese and they suddenly think they have the all the answers for all time. It’s an unfortunate time we live in. People think they’re better off than the ancients cause they’re going to have an iphone in their casket when the devil comes to take their soul.

    I apologize, I’m venting cause I have to live in this shit pit world, and I’m about to start work which is a bummer. Plus someone stole my amazon package out of my mail yesterday and I need my precious books.

  • Matt the Kiwi

    You look around and you see a shit pit world. That’s a shame – it’s a pretty great place and I think you do its (and our) creator a disservice by viewing it with such disdain.
    Lets leave it there. Your belief structure has obviously made you a forgiving, open minded and patently happy person so you keep doing you and I’ll do me. See you on the other side.

  • Oso Jugo

    Let me rephrase myself. The world of modern enlightened evolved humans is a shit pit. The universe and the natural world are great places, I agree.

    Later gator.

  • samlam

    Would love to hear you guys draw parallels between First Reformed and Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest. You’d be amazed.