Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

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knives
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#51 Post by knives » Wed May 11, 2011 3:01 pm

This movie I assume he means, but that's like say bread should be buttered up. It's kind of a duh thing.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#52 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed May 11, 2011 3:21 pm

Hey, let the man speak for himself

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Tom Hagen
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#53 Post by Tom Hagen » Wed May 11, 2011 5:17 pm

Me pap!
Give him his pap.
There's no more pap.

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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#54 Post by Adam » Wed May 11, 2011 9:35 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:You've got me in suspense, what would happen?
It would be Meek's Cutoff. :-)

Well, that's a gross oversimplification, but that's what the ending made the film for me. it didn't even matter that it was a Western anymore. Mor shortly...

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Jeff
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#55 Post by Jeff » Mon May 16, 2011 12:01 am

Still processing this, but suffice it to say that Meek's Cutoff just edges out Certified Copy as my favorite film so far this year. Despite all the talk of it being austere and minimalist (which it certainly is), I also found it absolutely thrilling throughout. That's largely because it felt so realistic in its depiction of the hardships faced by pioneers. It's completely immersive, and I could watch those guys shave a new axle all day. Despite that immersive realism, it somehow manages to evoke both Beckett and Brecht too. Quite a feat! Throw in a feminist take on a masculine genre, questions about the nature of hope and trust versus cynicism and suspicion, and some of the prettiest cinematography this side of Terrence Malick, and you've got yourself a hell of a film.

I've always assumed that Truffaut's story about the finale of The 400 Blows coming about as a result of running out of film was apocryphal. I can't help but think that Reichardt isn't being a bit coy here too. I didn't find the ending abrupt or off-putting at all. It felt perfect to me, and I can't imagine it ending any other way.

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knives
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#56 Post by knives » Mon May 16, 2011 12:05 am

Definitely agree on that last bit. It felt like an ending to me. No ambiguity and nowhere else to go. There simply didn't feel like any more story to tell.

Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#57 Post by Nothing » Mon May 16, 2011 3:10 am

Put it this way - it may have been an accident but if the ending really didn't work I'm sure they would've found the extra day by hook or by crook.

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Shrew
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#58 Post by Shrew » Mon May 23, 2011 11:44 pm

To respond belatedly to mfunk's comments on the ending: I agree that the last 30 minutes of the film could have been trimmed a bit, especially after the standoff, which is the film's climax, and everything after that starts feeling overstayed. But I really disagree that those last 30 minute fail to add anything to the ending. The questions at the center of the plot (turn back/go on, kill/don't kill) may not have changed, but the dynamics of the group have changed entirely, which fuels the feminist kick of the film.
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Hell even that 100th shot of Michelle Williams looking at the Indian is different from all the rest. The perspective has changed, with the framing notably different, and Williams's expression has also shifted. Yes, the situation with the Indian is still in the same rut, but I find this exchange of gazes remarkable in how it contrasts the new dynamics of the pioneers with that lingering and unavoidable question of the Indian and by proxy, their own survival.

Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#59 Post by Nothing » Tue May 24, 2011 3:18 am

DVD only in the UK it seems (August 8th). Has any date been put on the US BD release?

JFarnsworth
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#60 Post by JFarnsworth » Tue May 24, 2011 4:08 pm

Oscilloscope Laboratories will be releasing MEEK'S CUTOFF on DVD as well as Blu-Ray+DVD combo in Fall 2011.

Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#61 Post by Nothing » Wed May 25, 2011 12:19 am

So... dilemma = wait for the BD or no? #-o

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mfunk9786
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#62 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed May 25, 2011 12:25 am

See it in the theater if at all possible, as long as it is being projected in the proper 1.33:1 aspect ratio.

Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#63 Post by Nothing » Thu May 26, 2011 1:13 am

Since the film is shot/projected digitally, there's not really much difference between theatre/BD.

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Kirkinson
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#64 Post by Kirkinson » Thu May 26, 2011 2:26 am


Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#65 Post by Nothing » Thu May 26, 2011 2:46 am

Oh... Will try and catch in the theatre then.

Amazing how videoy the trailer looks, that being the case.

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Der Müde Tod
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#66 Post by Der Müde Tod » Sat May 28, 2011 8:55 am

I saw this yesterday and loved the ending. Reichardt should have called the film "The Tree of Life".
Ooops. Already taken...

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#67 Post by matrixschmatrix » Mon May 30, 2011 12:27 am

I finally got to see this, though I think it may have been in the wrong aspect ratio- the theater claimed it was 1:37, but it looked more like 1:66 or so. It didn't feel like it destroyed the compositions, though, so not necessarily a huge deal.

It reminded me of any number of things- Aguirre, Dead Man, even Lawrence of Arabia (negatively, since it consciously reversed Lawrence's strategy of having the characters always move in the same direction across the screen), but it also felt like a very distinct statement on interdependence and feminism without underlining or saying anything outright. I'm not sure it's a move I can talk about easily, since the overwhelming impression is of vast, empty space that can never be fully crossed, but it's something I'm very glad to have seen, and it had at least one moment that will probably stay with me for months.

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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#68 Post by lachrymologist » Mon May 30, 2011 2:30 pm

Being from the PNW, and currently residing in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, I found this film to be breathtaking, beautiful, austere, voluntarily simple, and quite honestly, nearly perfect. Old Joy was a revelation, and though I haven't seen River of Grass yet, I did enjoy her next most recent, Wendy and Lucy. Long live film that feels no need to go anywhere, no need to 'say' anything, and yet goes places and says things few films ever can.

I got a bit of a dogme vibe from this, and a deep sense of foreboding that hits at the core of the human experience. Trust, biology and gender, evolutionary psychology, us vs. them (coalitional psychology). To ponder these while we roll past hills and vistas of a bleakly beautiful geography is something no words can express thanks for, but still: Thank you Kelly Reichardt!

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HistoryProf
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#69 Post by HistoryProf » Tue May 31, 2011 12:15 am

knives wrote:
SpoilerShow
I don't know what you're talking about. I did not see that in the ending at all. I saw it more of a shrug than anything else. "I took you where you wanted, bye now."
that's the first thing i've read that puts me in a mind other than "wtf?" about the ending. Even though I knew that ending was coming, it still left me a tad annoyed, and wishing for 2 more minutes of some kind of exposition to give a bit of finality, precisely because I knew about the basis in real life and what happened to them. It felt a bit cheap to leave it as she did.

That said, I loved every creek of the wagons, clang of the pots, crunch of dusty earth, and every beautiful frame of the film. It was an almost agonizing vicarious experience, and i realized how thirsty I was when it was over even though I had enjoyed a beverage during the film. It felt more authentic than just about anything i've ever seen set in the American West, and I especially appreciated how Reichardt managed to remain at arms length with the Indian man and not let us in on what he was saying at any point, adding all the more to the verisimilitude of the emigrants' experience. In a word, it just felt "real."

One more observation: for me, the academy ratio rendered the film almost claustrophobic...which is precisely the opposite of what you should feel in that environment. Somehow it managed to enhance the feeling of being trapped by hemming in the sides (in addition to making it possible for someone to appear as if from the ether and surprise someone!) and making the world seem simultaneously small and impossibly vast. I'd like to think there was some intent there, but i'm also a bit bemused by her confession that it was a shortcut to plot devices (surpise!) in addition to the ending being a simple matter of running out of money. That cheapens it for me, and lends credence to having initially felt unfulfilled as the credits rolled (primarily because everything up to that point was nearly perfect).

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#70 Post by matrixschmatrix » Tue May 31, 2011 12:24 am

As far as the ending goes- it felt inevitable, to me (though that may have been because I had an idea that it wouldn't resolve clearly going in.) Any clear resolution would have felt false, a decision on the filmmaker's part to have all of this pointing in some particular direction; a clear vindication either for Meek or the Michelle Williams character, and indication on Reichardt's part of how we as a viewer should feel about which decisions were right and which were wrong.

As it was, it seemed almost as though the camera stopped filming these people so that they could have some privacy- so that their decisions and their fate could be their own, and not determined by narrative logic. I've never seen a movie that respected the characters' right to have their own thoughts and keep them to themselves more, and it feels just that their fate should likewise be for them and not for us.

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Brian C
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#71 Post by Brian C » Tue May 31, 2011 12:32 am

I took the ending in a similar way to knives, I think:
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They find the tree, and we can imagine that there's water nearby, and that it's fairly likely that they'll find it. From there, though, the story of the film basically ends. Even if they find water, they don't accomplish much other than buying themselves a few more days, since they're still lost, and facing an uncertain future until the next time they can find water, and now the Indian is of no more use to them. Essentially, the story is set to repeat.

Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#72 Post by Nothing » Tue May 31, 2011 1:35 am

lachrymologist wrote:Long live film that feels... no need to 'say' anything
Well I don't know about that. I like Kelly, but she has a massive centre-left provincial feminist bug up her arse that is without doubt her greatest weakness as a director.

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HistoryProf
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#73 Post by HistoryProf » Tue May 31, 2011 3:19 am

probably because random male message board critics call her "Kelly" instead of the more respectful titled addresses they offer male filmmakers.

Nothing
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#74 Post by Nothing » Tue May 31, 2011 3:49 am

Heh, talk about creating something out of nothing... If I use someone's christian name (male or female) it is because of a personal familiarity.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt, 2011)

#75 Post by Michael Kerpan » Tue May 31, 2011 12:47 pm

Nothing wrote:I like Kelly, but she has a massive centre-left provincial feminist bug up her arse that is without doubt her greatest weakness as a director.
Hoo boy, Nothing, you really are something else!

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