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THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE:
THE FILMS OF KELLY REICHARDT
TOURING RETROSPECTIVE
premieres April 19, 2016

RIVER OF GRASS (1994)

RIVER OF GRASS

1994, 81m, USA
with Larry Fessenden, Lisa Bowman, Dick Russel, Stan Kaplan, Michael Buscemi, screenplay by: Kelly Reichardt;
cinematography: Jim Denault; produced by Larry Fessenden, Jesse Hartman, Susan A. Stover


In her debut feature, Kelly Reichardt set the mood and a very high bar for the rest of her oeuvre. What is unique here is the slyly humorous tone and an original take on the dead-end situation in which her characters find themselves, surrounded by the suffocating heat and blinding light of Florida’s Everglades. 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 involving a lost-and-found gun, passive parents, bumbling police detectives, and the clueless pair on the run who barely manage to make it across the county border. A pristinely timed story of middle-class angst, with superb camera work in a beautifully wrapped package, starring Larry Fessenden (the film’s editor and producer) and Lisa Bowman. 

 

 

 

“Not for squares.” J. Hoberman, THE VILLAGE VOICE

 

“Incisive and funny... simultaneously subversive and compassionate.” J. Carr, THE BOSTON GLOBE

 

“Highly original and filmed with perfect assurance.” Dave Kehr, THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

 

“One of the most original indies of the Sundance boom years.” Dennis Lim, THE NEW YORK TIMES

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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