Big Talk: Kelly Reichardt


IFFR 2021

This year, American director Kelly Reichardt receives the second edition of the Robby Müller Award, presented annually to an ‘image-maker’ responsible for an authentic, gripping visual idiom. The jury report praised her talent for – like legendary cameraman Müller – “revealing the American landscape in its infinite variety in more than a supporting role, and for depicting people with the greatest subtlety and sensitivity”.

The director comes from a law-enforcement family in Florida – she took her first photos as a child with the camera that her father used to photograph crime scenes, and her neo-noir debut, River of Grass (1994), elaborated on this background. Reichardt currently spends part of the year in New York and part in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she teaches at Bard and Harvard universities. But she prefers to shoot her films on the other side of the country, in the state of Oregon on the West Coast.

From her second feature, Old Joy – which won a Tiger Award in 2006 and brought her international breakthrough – up to her latest, First Cow, this is where all of her films are set, either in the woods (Old Joy), on dusty streets (Wendy & Lucy), in the barren desert (revisionist Western Meek’s Cutoff), along the rivers (eco-thriller Night Moves) or in small suburbs (Certain Women). In this Big Talk, moderated by Kiva Reardon, she will talk about these films, her pensive film style and way of working.

In collaboration with the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers.