Showing posts with label Kelly Reichardt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kelly Reichardt. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 May 2014

At The Back At The Tribeca Film Festival

Late last month, a scheduled trip to New York happened to coincide with The Tribeca Film Festival. When I discovered this a couple of weeks before crossing the Atlantic, I immediately looked into the possibility of going to see some films and was fortunate to find the time to squeeze three in. With only six days in the greatest city on the planet, I wouldn’t have been able to justify any more than this. Tribeca was my first film festival and overall I had a positive experience. The event was well run by knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff while the locations were excellent. The cinemas themselves were less desirable however. The three screenings we went to were situated in two theatres, both multiplexes and both with very shallow seating rakes. At 6’ 3” I still struggled to see through the heads of those in front of me and was very conscious of the views I was obstructing behind. I’m not sure if this is consistent with all American cinemas but on the only other occasion that I’ve seen a film in the States, in the same city, a year before, there was no issue. Anyway, I digress.

The first film we saw was Night Moves at the AMC Loews Village 7 on 3rd Avenue. Both my girlfriend and I were excited and nervous about our first film festival experience and eagerly joined the long line outside the theatre. Night Moves is a drama with a political edge. Directed by Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff) It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard as environmentalists who plan to blow up a dam in rural Oregon. The film initially reminded me of The East, thematically at least but it soon becomes apparent that this is a significantly smarter film which takes a different direction. It doesn’t bombard the audience with back story or justification for the crimes. It assumes that the audience is clever enough to understand their motivation. The central characters also remain half hidden and you’re never sure if they’re showing their real selves to each other or the audience. The planning and preparation are interesting and the execution of the dam’s destruction is incredibly tense. What follows soon after is rather predictable but the character’s transformations surprise.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Meek's Cutoff

In 1845 a small band of settlers travel across the Oregon Desert under the guidance of Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood). What was meant to be a two week journey is stretched to five as the group begin to wonder if Meek actually knows the way. With food and water scarce and tensions running high, the settlers’ chance upon a local native, capture him and attempt to get him to lead them to water. Will they find it? Will he actually lead them to it? And, will they ever make it across the desert?

I’ve become quite a fan of modern Westerns recently and have really enjoyed the likes of The Assassination of Jesse James, There Will Be Blood and True Grit amongst others. Meek’s Cutoff shares little with those films though other than its time in history and genre. This is a film about the isolation of the old west and the physical and mental pain that one must go through in order to continue the expansion west. Unlike most other Westerns, this is also told from mostly the female perspective.