Close Up

11 - 13 March 2016: Close-Up on Kelly Reichardt


"My films are just glimpses of people passing through". – Kelly Reichardt  

"Kelly Reichardt is a most unlikely ambassador of current American independent cinema. Her films are not remotely violent or boundary pushing. She has never competed for a Palme d’Or or piqued the attention of Oscar voters. She does not write scintillating dialogue and shocking twists are not in her vocabulary. She is certainly political but her work has not reached a remotely wide enough audience to thrust her into the discourse dominated by provocateurs like Michael Moore. She is not out to shock or titillate in the slightest; in fact, none of her theatrically released features contain a single sex scene. Yet few American directors working within the realm of independent cinema in this century have garnered more acclaim than Reichardt, whose acutely observed depictions of marginalized characters journeying in search of a better life have consistently cast a spell on the country’s most influential critics, publications and audiences privy to her limitedly released works." – Sam Littman, Senses of Cinema  

This programme brings together the three films that helped establish Reichardt as one of the most important auteur of American independent cinema: Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, and Meek's Cutoff.  

Old Joy
Kelly Reichardt
2006 | 76 min | Colour | Digital

Soon to be a father, Mark (Daniel London) feels the pressure of domestic responsibility closing in, so he is more than happy to accept when his old friend Kurt (Will Oldham) proposes a camping trip in the Oregon wilderness. During their time together, the men come to grips with the changes in their lives and the effect on their relationship. read more

Wendy and Lucy
Kelly Reichardt
2008 | 80 min | Colour | DCP

Wendy (Michelle Williams), a near-penniless drifter, is travelling to Alaska in search of work, and her only companion is her dog, Lucy. Already perilously close to losing everything, Wendy hits a bigger bump in the road when her old car breaks down and she is arrested for shoplifting dog food. When she posts bail and returns to retrieve Lucy, she finds that the dog is gone, prompting a frantic search for her pet. read more

Meek's Cutoff
Kelly Reichardt
2010 | 98 min | Colour | Digital

During the 1840s, six settlers and their guide are caught in a dangerous situation: they are lost, food and water are running out, and the surrounding desert threatens to claim them all. Meanwhile, their guide, Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood), refuses to acknowledge that they may be several weeks off-course. When a Native American (Rod Rondeaux) is captured, Emily Tetherow (Michelle Williams), one of the settlers, shields him from Meek's wrath, and he offers to lead the group to water in return. read more