Episode 1: Kelly Reichardt

The 'western feminist' is also really into trains.

Kelly Reichardt’s films are full of pregnant pauses and extended silences. In fact, her movies often lack a background score. They’re shot in the American West and filled with open skies and people living on the margins. In this interview, Reichardt discusses why she substituted train sounds for soaring music in Wendy and Lucy and Certain Women. The director of several widely-acclaimed films also tells us why she often shoots outdoors in natural light, how men and women sometimes view the scenes differently and why many of her movies are based in Montana and other western states.

THE REICHARDT FILE

• Films starring Michelle Williams: Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek's Cutoff (2010), Certain Women (2016)

• Films based on fiction by Jon Raymond or written by Jon Raymond: Old Joy (2006), Wendy and Lucy (2008), Meek's Cutoff (2010) and Night Movies (2013)

• Cannes Film Festival, Nomination: Wendy and Lucy (2008)

• Venice Film Festival, SIGNIS Award: Meek's Cutoff (2010)

• The Best 25 Films of the Century (So Far): Wendy and Lucy (2008)

Usually the characters are stuck somewhere and there’s always these trains passing in and out and on the move. They’re either emotionally stuck or physically stuck wherever they are. So I guess the sound of trains coming and going has some kind, some kind of meaning to it.
— Kelly Reichardt on trains as sound design
Lilly Gladstone, one of the stars of Reichardt's Certain Women. Photos by Jojo Whilden. Courtesy of IFC Films.

Lilly Gladstone, one of the stars of Reichardt's Certain Women. Photos by Jojo Whilden. Courtesy of IFC Films.

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