Making the world safe for filmgoers since 2002.
Kelly Reichardt makes films that explore the psychology of their characters. They are moody, compelling works that challenge the audience while taking them on emotional journeys that have uncertain outcomes. When I spoke with the filmmaker by phone on May 30, 2014, about NIGHT MOVES, her eco-thriller, I was curious about the way she depicted violence in the film, how it grew out of the impulsiveness of idealism and the consequences of tunnel vision. She focused on the irony of her characters wanting to save the environment by blowing it up, which for me was one of the many intellectual conundrums to be found in her films (MEEK’S CUTOFF, WENDY AND LUCY). We also talked about why she wanted to focus on a dam that wasn’t in a desert, the serendipity of casting, and learning to let the editing serve the story.
NIGHT MOVES explores good intentions, idealistic commitment, and unintended consequences. Jesse Eisenberg plays a radical eco-warrior determined to make a statement about the human refashioning of the Oregon wilderness by blowing up a dam and, thereby, returning that part of nature back to its original state. His co-conspirators are a young woman running from her privileged family, and an ex-Marine with his own reasons for wanting to be a part of the protest. Focusing on character rather than events, the film becomes a stark, incisive meditation on taking action impulsively, and the motives that might not be clear to the people who have them. The film co-stars Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard and James LeGros. Reichardt directed from a script that she co-wrote with Jonathan Raymond. Her previous work includes MEEK’S CUTOFF and WENDY AND LUCY.