Nomadic Gestures: The Films of Kelly Reichardt

MAY 19-23

OPENING NIGHT THURSDAY, MAY 19
SKYPE Q&A WITH KELLY REICHARDT
+ JON RAYMOND!
REFRESHMENTS & SPECIAL INTRODUCTION

6:00pm - Doors
7:00pm - Old Joy
/ Introduced by Dorothy Woodend / Post-screening Skype Q&A with Kelly Reichardt and Jon Raymond

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“An indispensable American filmmaker.”
A. O. SCOTT, NEW YORK TIMES

“One of the few masters now working in American independent film.”
LARRY GROSS, FILM COMMENT

“The poet laureate of the Pacific Northwest.”
SAM LITTMAN, SENSES OF CINEMA

To mark the brand-new restoration and re-release of American indie auteur Kelly Reichardt’s largely-unseen first feature River of Grass (1994), The Cinematheque presents a mid-career retrospective dedicated to the acclaimed director’s already-essential oeuvre — arguably one of the most important, distinctive bodies of work in American cinema today.

Over the past decade, Florida-born, New York-based filmmaker Kelly Reichardt has established herself as a vital voice in the independent American film scene with her intimate, austere, organically-unfurling works of “quiet cinema.” Despite her NYC address, Reichardt’s reputation rests on a quartet of films set and shot in the Pacific Northwest, written or co-written by Portland-based penman Jon Raymond (who also collaborated with Reichardt’s longtime friend/producer Todd Haynes on the latter’s exquisite Mildred Pierce mini-series for HBO). Taken together, these films provide a roughhewn tapestry of life in transition, populated by world-weary drifters pushed to, or seeking refuge at, the margins of society. They include: Old Joy (2006), Reichardt’s meditative, modest, bromance-in-the-woods gem; the sober, affecting Wendy and Lucy (2008), a best-of-the-year (if not decade) fixture and standard bearer for a new naturalism in American cinema; Meek’s Cutoff (2010), her masterful, revisionist Western and W. Bush-era parable of power unchecked; and Night Moves (2013), a slow-churning, existential eco-thriller that offered some late-game surprises for those accustomed to Reichardt’s typically subdued sensibilities.

Although River of Grass — Reichardt’s delightfully offbeat, lovers-on-the-lam debut — garnered much praise when it premiered in competition at Sundance in 1994, it would be a staggering twelve years until her follow-up, something the filmmaker chalks up to gender discrimination in the industry. We are proud to present a new digital restoration of this auspicious work for Vancouver audiences, alongside her indispensable Cascadia tetralogy.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Program note: Reichardt’s sixth and latest feature, Certain Women (2016), which received a rapturous reception at Sundance earlier this year, will not be included in this retrospective, as a Canadian release date has yet to be confirmed.

 

Click for film notes + showtimes

Recent Showings

Reichardt re-emerged in 2006 with this lo-fi, minimalist masterpiece featuring cult musician Will Oldham (aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy).
Reichardt’s heartrending third feature was the writer-director's breakthrough film and a standard bearer for a new naturalism in American cinema.
NEW RESTORATION! The debut feature from Reichardt is a grungy, darkly comic, ennui-imbued riff on the amour fou film for a '90s America.
Reichardt’s first foray into period filmmaking was this deconstructed, de-mythologized, de-masculinized feminist Western.
Reichardt tinkers with the syntax of the suspense-thriller in this existential, slow-motion nail biter, more Dostoevsky than De Palma.