Kelly Reichardt

"Reichardt’s movies are a mesmerizing statement on the solitude of everyday life for working-class people who want something better. They’re trapped between a mythology of greatness and the personal limitations that govern their drab realities. By attending to atmosphere and attitude as much as plot, Reichardt has quietly become one of the country’s best chroniclers of the American experience." - Eric Kohn (Indiewire, 2016)

Kelly Reichardt

Director / Editor / Screenwriter
(1964- ) Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Drama, Road Movie, Rural Drama, Psychological Drama, Feminist Film, Period Film
Key Collaborators: Anish Savjani (Producer), Neil Kopp (Producer), Jonathan Raymond (Screenwriter), Michelle Williams (Leading Actress), Jeff Grace (Composer), Will Oldham (Leading Actor), Christopher Blauvelt (Cinematographer), Will Patton (Leading Character Actor), James LeGros (Leading Character Actor), Tanya Smith (Character Actress)

"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, 2014)
"Reichardt has made a career of silence and suggestion — of casting an attentive but unobtrusive gaze on people who can never quite seem to win. She is interested, she says, in characters “who don’t have a net, who if you sneezed on them, their world would fall apart"… Reichardt regularly shoots her films in this corner of the country, using the backdrop of Oregon’s conifer forests, high deserts and shabby strip malls to portray lives led on society’s outer rim." - Alice Gregory (The New York Times, 2016)
"Kelly Reichardt makes small, hushed films about the invisible flotsam of the American west. Her natural subjects are the drifters and the outcasts, the barely getting by. Her natural habitat is the lonesome campfire and the railroad track. She says she lives like a bum, she makes hardly any money… But here is the paradox. With each passing film, Reichardt finds herself hauled out of the shadows and nudged towards the mainstream. The murmurous, mesmerising Old Joy made way for the wrenching Wendy and Lucy, which stranded pensive Michelle Williams on the fringes of town. This in turn was overtaken by the acclaimed Meek’s Cutoff, a western with a difference, marooned in the desert. Reichardt’s pictures creep up on audiences, but they are so potent and so haunting that they prove hard to ignore. They call out to the world, perhaps louder than she’d like." - Xan Brooks (The Guardian, 2014)
"In the more than two decades since her stunning debut film River of Grass premiered at Sundance in 1994, Kelly Reichardt has managed to carve out a unique niche for herself in the independent film world." - Paula Bernstein (Filmmaker, 2016)
"She remains one of the last true independents in the sense that making independent films was, for her, never a means to an end; it’s doubtful you’ll see Reichardt angling for Hollywood suitors or landing her very own show on Netflix or Amazon… Reichardt’s style—austere, deliberate, with an aversion to melodrama and an eye for telling detail—isn’t suitable for mainstream audiences anyway. Even if it were, her interest in uncertain lives defies the purposefulness of the hero’s quest—her characters may search for who they are and where they belong, but often arrive at complicated, ambiguous answers." - Scott Tobias (New Republic, 2016)
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Old Joy (2006) , Wendy and Lucy (2008)
Recommended
Meek's Cutoff (2010) , Certain Women (2016)
Worth a Look
Night Moves (2013)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Wendy and Lucy
    comments powered by Disqus