Jonathan Raymond

Kelly Reichardt, Oregon Will Miss You

With the release of her latest film, Night Moves, the director talks moving on to a different cinematic landscape

Old Joy was the first Kelly Reichardt film I saw. It made me want to move to Oregon.

Four years ago I finally made the journey west to become an official Portlander, and high on my list of things to do when I arrived: hike to Bagby Hot Springs, where most of Old Joy’s final act takes place. Reichardt’s subtle directorial hand, the minor-key drama and lived-in, naturalistic performances by Will Oldham and Daniel London were enough to enjoy the film, but what about those gorgeous wood tubs where they soaked in the forest? I needed to go there, to experience what looked to my Midwestern eyes as a slice of paradise.

While Bagby and Oregon’s countless other natural wonders continue to thrill me, Reichardt’s had enough. Cinematically, at least. Her last four features—Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff and her latest, Night Moves, opening Friday—have all been set here. But her next project will not take place in Oregon.

“I think I gotta push myself a little bit to get out of there,” she said during our phone interview. “Everyone knows about [Oregon] now and now it’s really fuckin’ expensive. It’s outside my range to even be able to visit there now.”

She was coy about divulging any information on her next film, let alone where it will be set, insisting it’s “in the cooker,” but nothing to talk about yet.

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