Walker Art Center

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Meek’s Cutoff

Introduced by director Kelly Reichardt. Followed by a discussion with Reichardt and producer/filmmaker Todd Haynes.

“A great leap into the void for this talented, quirky New York filmmaker—a minimalist Western with intimations of frontier surrealism and manifest destiny madness.”—Village Voice

The latest feature from Kelly Reichardt (the subject of a 2010 Regis Dialogue at the Walker) continues her rich tradition of road movies set against the American landscape, though the setting this time is not contemporary. Instead, she presents a taut period Western based on an actual struggle for survival on the Oregon Trail. In 1845 frontiersman Stephen Meek, in the process of leading a wagon train westward, becomes disastrously lost. The three family groups encounter a lone Native American, whose attempts to help spark racial and gender conflict. With Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Shirley Henderson, Rod Rondeaux, and Michelle Williams in a gusty performance. Meek’s Cutoff premiered to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival and went on to screen at prestigious festivals in Toronto, New York, and Sundance. “In this quiet, beautiful, and terrifying fable about a group of lost pioneers, Reichardt combines epic ambition with a focus on intimate, personal detail” (Salon.com). 2010, 35mm, 104 minutes.

Oscilloscope Laboratories will release the film in Minneapolis on May 6th.


The Premieres series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.

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