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Wendy and Lucy

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Kelly Reichardt has been called a minimalist film director, and if you’re comparing her to someone like Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg or the Hughes brothers, that certainly seems to be the case, at least based on her 2008 film Wendy and Lucy.

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"Don’t be a nuisance. We don’t need that."

Kelly Reichardt has been called a minimalist film director, and if you’re comparing her to someone like Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg or the Hughes brothers, that certainly seems to be the case, at least based on her 2008 film Wendy and Lucy. This film doesn’t have a lot of pizazz or a large cinematic sense. What it does have, though, is a character study in which we dig deeply into our protagonist during a difficult few days in her life. In that aspect, it isn’t minimal at all. Perhaps calling it incredibly focused would be a better way to describe it. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we kick off a new series on director Kelly Reichardt with her 2008 lost dog film Wendy and Lucy.

We talk about this ‘minimalist’ type of filmmaking and how it fits into the larger context of filmed stories that we know and love. We talk about how the story came about and was developed by Reichardt and writer Jon Raymond. We discuss Michelle Williams and her incredible (and incredibly internal) performance as Wendy, and how inadvertently she’s in all three of Reichardt’s films that we’re discussing in this series. We also chat about other actors in the film like Will Patton, Will Oldham, Wally Dalton and John Robinson and what they bring to the table. We look at the cinematography by Sam Levy and chat about what it brings to this story, notably the ‘naturalistic’ grainy and dark scenes. And we touch on the sound design and how Reichardt chose to use train sounds instead of score throughout the film.

It’s a touching film yet one we oddly aren’t sure we’d return to anytime soon, but certainly is one well worth talking about. Check out this movie then tune in to the show!

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