Loden’s performance is defined by its pauses. Kurt (Will Oldham, a.k.a. Is Kelly Reichardt the most under-acknowledged great director working in America right now? “Without tenderness, a man is uninteresting,” Marlene Dietrich said, and First Cow is, among other things, a reflection on masculine tenderness. Of course, we know nothing is the same. He’s very hungry. She calls him “Mr. For me, that comes later, when Wanda has wandered into yet another bar and finds herself smashed into the middle of a loud, boozy table. With its waving trees and verdant riverbanks, the land looks roughly the same as it must have looked to them. Sitting in a different bar early on, Wanda hears a man tell the bartender that he’ll pay for her beer; she drops her head and holds it there, steeling herself to face the obligation she now feels she has. Dennis,” for instance. But Kelly Reichardt’s extraordinary First Cow puts us squarely in a place, an era and a mode of being that might otherwise seem gauzy: The Pacific Northwest of the 1820s, a sylvan wilderness overrun with rough-mannered trappers in search of “soft gold,” or valuable pelts, a place where comforts are few and decent vittles are scarcer. We learn early on in a court date Wanda nearly misses that she has left her husband and two young children; agreeing to a divorce, she tells the judge, “They’d be better off with him.” From there, the movie is all about Wanda’s future—or lack thereof. The two were once close but have grown apart, separated by a distance more than geographic. (After all, this is partly the reason she came in.) I know mine don’t, partly out of my own culpable ignorance and partly because Loden—a model and actor who made this one feature film before dying of cancer 10 years later—was quickly forgotten as cinephiles prioritized the work of white men. First Cow (2020) — A typically gorgeous new movie and one of the best films of the year from indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” was filmed on location near Portland. The two are separated for a time, but reunite in the midst of a frontier barroom brawl. It’s there and then that First Cow is set. Mark (Daniel London) is settled down, a husband who’s soon to be a father. The group will … It’s also a study of humankind’s relationship to the natural world—to cows, to trees, to water and dirt—and the extent to which civilization can both stress nature and provide relief from it. Wanda is a woman unable—not allowed—to create her own identity. While Old Joy subtly privileges Mark’s vantage on events (partially by opening with him getting a phone call from Kurt, who we don’t see until the next scene), there’s no internal monologue guiding us through the emotional minefield of this scenario. This week: Antlers, a horror movie adapted from a story by Nick Antosca, is not hitting theaters. This is writer-director Kelly Reichardt's sixth feature, and her third with one of the best cinematographers alive, Christopher Blauvelt. the singer-songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy) is a bohemian rolling stone—a nomad bouncing all over the country, from one failed venture to the next. Cookie steps through the door and never leaves: While King Lu takes care of chopping wood and other assorted outdoor chores, Cookie gets busy inside, sweeping the dirt floors and setting a few tree sprigs in an old bottle. Even when not adapted from bite-sized source material (like the vignettes in Certain Women, all based on tales from a Maile Meloy collection), her films feel like they were. the singer-songwriter Bonnie “Prince” Billy) is a bohemian rolling stone—a nomad bouncing all over the country, from one failed venture to the next. That was our mistake, for Wanda is a wonder—influenced itself by (and responding to) 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde in the way it reframes that vision of American violence and despair as particularly male and deeply psychological. King Lu considers possible locations: nearby, where there’s no competition, or down in bustling San Francisco? By signing up you are agreeing to our, A New Rebecca Strives for Gothic Romance But Comes Up Short, Not Hugging My Grandkids Will Always Be Hard, Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2020 TIME USA, LLC. It should come as no surprise that Old Joy was pulled from the pages of a short story. Reichardt likes adapting her scripts from the work of authors. There’s more dialogue and yet, paradoxically, more remains unsaid: We’re left to infer the great “something” that’s come between these two men—or maybe to search for clues to it in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest landscape Reichardt captures from the inside of a moving vehicle. We human beings have made our ugly marks all over the natural world. Only once does the tension in their strained relationship come up in dialogue. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our. Old Joy was the film that put Reichardt on a lot of cinephiles’ maps. “…tries to expose people who have already been walking around the past four years with their pants down.”, “…gives Joan Crawford a crackerjack early role.”, How many appreciations of Terrence Malick’s, note the likely connections to Barbara Loden’s, is a wonder—influenced itself by (and responding to) 1967’s, in the way it reframes that vision of American violence and despair as particularly male and deeply psychological. (One more name check to note here: it’s hard to imagine Kelly Reichardt’s. without this.) But unlike Bonnie and Clyde’s infamous shoot-out, it’s not the sequence that ultimately lingers. They’re profoundly “small”—at once compact and open-ended, precise in the (mostly Oregonian) milieus they study but also amenable to multiple interpretations. It was her first collaboration with the writer Jonathan Raymond, who’s co-scripted five of her features (including the recent First Cow, which supplies his novel The Half Life with the brevity and texture of a short story).
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