Over the past two and a half decades, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has made a name for herself as a true maverick of contemporary independent cinema, winning wide acclaim for her sparely lyrical and fiercely intimate character studies, all of which unfold against rugged American terrain. This week, in celebration of her inimitable voice, the Criterion Channel is presenting a mini-retrospective featuring a handful of her finest works, including River of Grass, Meek’s Cutoff, and Wendy and Lucy, a quietly devastating 2008 drama about a broke young woman (Michelle Williams) stranded, with her dog, in a woodsy pocket of the Pacific Northwest. Reichardt talks with critic April Wolfe about the genesis of that last film in the above clip from Masterclass, an ongoing series on the Channel that features filmmakers talking in-depth about their work. Shot last year, this episode finds the director telling stories about her creative process, including how she and frequent writing partner Jon Raymond conceived Train Choir, as the movie was originally titled, as a character-driven meditation on the American dream, and our responsibility to one another, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
A Neglected Reggae Classic Finally Gets Its Due
Now playing on the Criterion Channel, Franco Rosso’s underappreciated drama Babylon is one of the most essential portraits of the immigrant experience in British film history.
From Innocence to Experience: A Conversation with Charles Williams
The director of the Palme d’Or–winning short film All These Creatures, which is now available to stream on the Criterion Channel, discusses the challenges of depicting mental illness through the eyes of a child.
The Extravagant Passions of Italian Maestro Raffaello Matarazzo
Italian cinema of the 1940s and ’50s may be most associated with the legacy of neorealism, but the tearjerking melodramas of this critically underappreciated director dominated at the box office.