Meek's Cutoff

The Next Reel - Meek's Cutoff 0.jpg

"Is he ignorant or is he just plain evil?"

The story of the real Meek’s Cutoff is an interesting and tragic tale in the early days of the Oregon Trail. Many pioneers lost their lives as they followed their guide, Stephen Meek, and proceeded to get lost. For her follow-up to Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt chose to make a film about this historical journey and the people who suffered while on it. But is her minimal filmmaking style effective for a historical drama? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Kelly Reichardt series with her 2010 film Meek’s Cutoff

We talk about the nature of stories told in media res and discuss if it works for a historical film like this one. We discuss Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton and the other actors performing here and look at what they bring to the table (and if any can top Bruce’s crazy character). And we chat about the look of the film and what Kelly, paired with her new cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt, were saying with their static shots, long takes, yellow tint, dark night scenes and 1.33:1 aspect ratio. 

It’s an interesting film. Not one we liked but an interesting one to look at and discuss, to be sure. Tune in!

Film Sundries

Trailers of the Week

Andy's Trailer: Thor: Ragnarok — "I’ve been excited about this Marvel movie ever since they announced Taika Waititi as its director. They’ve managed to keep Thor’s sense of humor in here, a healthy dose of Guardians of the Galaxy vibe running all through it, plus an arena battle with gladiator Hulk! Goth Cate Blanchett! Disco Jeff Goldblum! It’s insane in all the right ways – count me in!"

Pete's Trailer: The Journey — "A road movie telling the story of Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness compressing what I believe was a 20 year drive toward peace in Northern Ireland. Much controversy about this film as a reenactment, but just maybe in spite of inaccuracies, it’s the kind of movie we need just now? Timothy Spall looks damned amazing as Paisley."