premieres April 19, 2016




A unique voice on the American independent film scene, Kelly Reichardt has produced a remarkably compact body of work. In her realist film dramas, abound with sensory delights, she creates a perfect unity between form and narrative, in which subtle shifts can have enormous consequences. Working with a stable team of artists and producers, including the author Jon Raymond, who has collaborated with her on all but one of features presented here, Reichardt makes films about the journey, actual and metaphorical. Bringing to center stage timely topics and people from the fringes, amplifying rarely heard voices and points of view, Reichardt forces her audience to pay attention to every detail that takes place, on and off screen. Her slyly humorous debut, River of Grass, announced the emergence of an exceptional auteur with its premiere at Sundance Film Festival in 1994. But it was her sophomore feature film, Old Joy, that sent ripples throughout the international scene with its 2006 premiere at Rotterdam IFF and its winning of a Tiger Award, the first for an American filmmaker. Since then, Reichardt’s films have been a staple of the international festival circuit, with premieres at Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard (Wendy and Lucy, 2008), in Venice (Meek’s Cutoff, 2011, and Night Moves, 2013, both in the main competition), Toronto (the restoration of her debut film), and most recently at Sundance Film Festival 2016 with her latest feature, Certain Women.


This touring retrospective in Europe is held on the occasion of the release of the restored River of Grass, Reichardt’s debut feature. In anticipation of the European festival premiere of her new work, the touring program presents the filmmaker’s first five feature films. The retrospective tour opens in Prague, at cinemas Svetozor and Aero, where Carlo Chatrian, the Italian film critic and artistic director of the Locarno Film Festival, will introduce screenings and moderate Skype Q&As with the filmmaker. The tour then continues with screenings in Warsaw at Kino.LAB, the cinema of the Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle; Cinema Toldi in Budapest; in Berlin at Arsenal, Institute for Film and Videoart; and in Vienna at the Austrian Film Museum. After that, the retrospective will continue to tour through Europe.


This touring retrospective is produced by Comeback Company, in partnership with Cinema Aero, Aerofilms, and Oscilloscope Laboratories, and with support from the U.S. Embassy in Prague, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, the Czech State Cinematography Fund, and Fandor. Additional partnership and support provided by CEC ArtsLink, Kino Lorber, Filmbox, and the Czech Film Center.


(all films directed by Kelly Reichardt; program and film notes by Irena Kovarova)

RIVER OF GRASS (1994) RIVER OF GRASS (1994) Titled after the Native American name for the region, River of Grass tells the story of a thirty-something mother of three who runs away from boredom and her family. Restless and on a quest to find excitement, she meets an equally lost soul, a man-child hanging out in a local bar. What follows is a hilarious “crime” spree of the clueless pair on the run. OLD JOY (2006) OLD JOY (2006) Two longtime friends set on a weekend camping trip in the Oregon woods. One has remained faithful to the freewheeling life of their youth, avoiding any decisions that can’t be taken back. The other one has settled down, and is soon to become a father. By the end of the journey, they’ll either face off or find out what holds them together. WENDY AND LUCY (2008) WENDY AND LUCY (2008) In this formally minimalist drama, the title heroine, Wendy, sets out on a cross-country drive with her dog, Lucy, in the hope of finding a well-paying job in Alaska’s fish processing plants. When the car breaks down, it plunges her even deeper into despair, threatening to unravel her already dire circumstances.  MEEK’S CUTOFF (2010) MEEK’S CUTOFF (2010) Oregon, 1845. A group of settlers with a hired guide, Stephen Meek, make the trek from Missouri with the dream of staking out land in the West for a prosperous future. We make the trek along with them, from a lush, water-filled landscape to the dried-out, dusty, windy, and unforgiving high desert.  NIGHT MOVES (2013) NIGHT MOVES (2013) Night is the setting for all of the most dramatic events in this thrilling story of three Oregon-based radical environmentalists who seek to bring the masses to recognize the impending doom of Earth’s depletion through an act of extreme sabotage. But they aren’t prepared for the unintended consequences of their actions.


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