Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 2005)

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david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt, 2005)

#1 Post by david hare » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:57 am

Thanks very much to Foam and Zeddo for another wake up call, as I fall asleep through the last three or four decades of cinema.

I don't feel able to say very much more than -quickly - I love it, probably even more than Wendy and Lucy, and I am so glad to see Todd Haynes here. Who is hopefully mentoring this artist - in effect - and perhaps acting as guardian angel - although one has to say I prefer these two short features to everything Todd ever made, execpt his wonderful video to camera intro for Reckless Moment.

While I watched Old Joy my mind snapped back to Alice's Restaurant and John Korty's Riverrun, of all things.. to a time when I was the characters' age, or younger. But both those movies still existed in some time of hope, or so it seemed, for America. Kelly's time is a much tougher time, although it's not impossible. But it's today. Now. I think she has achieved the near impossible by forging a huge branch (as though it were!) just for me as some sort of bitter and cranky old man - to people one third my age and a world I can barely deal with, let alone the people who have to endure it.

I really can't say yet how much these pictures, especially Old Joy moved me.

I love her dedication as Production company to "LucyistheoneIlove". And I love the insinuation of shots to Will's POV, when his old friend's hand finally relaxes and glides into the spa. And her unelievably subtle weaving of both personal and infinitely sublime shots from a real mise en scene. Among them the crow who in both movies seems to enter as a fugal, sky destined counterpoint to Lucy, and our nonsense. Quite honestly, if she has a predecessor in some formal sense, it's Rossellini.

Knockout, guys!

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colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt 2005)

#2 Post by colinr0380 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:38 am

And in a way, ironically in light of Wendy and Lucy, Old Joy is just as much from the point of view of the dog as either of the two guys in the film!

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david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

Re: Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt 2005)

#3 Post by david hare » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:39 am

Yes Lucy is. And Kelly's incredibly decliate balancing act between director and editor is completely astonishing.

Shot after shot takes me by surprise in this. She really is quite a gal!

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Foam
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 12:47 am

Re: Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt 2005)

#4 Post by Foam » Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:38 pm

I thought the acting in this movie was pretty incredible. Both Oldham and London really nail that whole thing where you want to say one thing, but you can't, so you say another, but what you wanted to stay is still evident from gestures and facial expressions. "I never doubted you, man." Stuff like that. When you pick up on this sort of thing, it forces you to be a very careful viewer, not just of the acting, but the whole movie, and it becomes like a sensory overload, where the smallest, tiniest thing can send the whole universe spiraling out of control. For that reason I think I like this one more than W&L as well. This is one I will feel the need to return to more. There are universes in this movie I've so far only slightly picked up on.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt 2005)

#5 Post by zedz » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:42 pm

Glad (and slightly relieved) that you liked it, Dave. And I like Colin's observation about Lucy. Even though the dog is much more obviously the focus of the subsequent film, when I saw Old Joy I was really struck by the completely natural way she was integrated into the film, and her genuine 'dog-ness'. Far too often pets are included in movie characters' lives (when they're included at all) as plot devices or glorified set decoration, but in this film you get a sense of her independence and the relationships between her and the other characters.

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bottled spider
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:59 am

Re: Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt 2005)

#6 Post by bottled spider » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:48 pm

And, though perhaps it was only happenstance, I couldn't help noticing that Lucy gravitated toward Kurt rather than her owner Mark as they hiked along the trail.

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david hare
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

Re: Old Joy (Kelly Reichardt 2005)

#7 Post by david hare » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:27 pm

I thought the acting in this movie was pretty incredible. Both Oldham and London really nail that whole thing where you want to say one thing, but you can't, so you say another, but what you wanted to stay is still evident from gestures and facial expressions. "I never doubted you, man." Stuff like that. When you pick up on this sort of thing, it forces you to be a very careful viewer, not just of the acting, but the whole movie, and it becomes like a sensory overload, where the smallest, tiniest thing can send the whole universe spiraling out of control. For that reason I think I like this one more than W&L as well. This is one I will feel the need to return to more. There are universes in this movie I've so far only slightly picked up on.
I thought the acting in this movie was pretty incredible. Both Oldham and London really nail that whole thing where you want to say one thing, but you can't, so you say another, but what you wanted to stay is still evident from gestures and facial expressions. "I never doubted you, man." Stuff like that. When you pick up on this sort of thing, it forces you to be a very careful viewer, not just of the acting, but the whole movie, and it becomes like a sensory overload, where the smallest, tiniest thing can send the whole universe spiraling out of control. For that reason I think I like this one more than W&L as well. This is one I will feel the need to return to more. There are universes in this movie I've so far only slightly picked up on.
Yes, both the writing and the acting and whatever improvisation has taken place in the performances is rivetting. Around midway Oldham has a paranoia attack and takes a couple of minutes to recover and get back to "normal". Then he relates his acute perceptual acumen and the way he "sees" things that can become so overwhelming that reality becomes unbearable. This short scene in itself is fine enough, but then at the very end of the picture Reichardt shows us Will at the drugstore on his own now, handling this implosive reality - there are elements of the sequence, including the homeless guy and the street people and Will himself who strike me like an enlivened retake of the largely voiceless kids hustling outside the Mensroom in Portland in My Own Private Idaho. But in Old Joy Kelly gives these lost people a voice.. I found this incredibly moving.

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