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Old Joy

Directed by Kelly Reichardt with Daniel London, Will Oldham, Tanya Smith


2006, U.S.
In anticipation of the release of Kelly Reichardt’s new film, Meek’s Cutoff, ArtsEmerson looks at the director’s previous work. Before Wendy and Lucy, which solidified her reputation as one of the brightest new voices in American cinema, Kelly Reichardt first gained widespread notice with Old Joy, described by the New York Times as “a triumph of modesty and of seriousness that also happens to be one of the finest American films of the year.”

“One of the most persuasive portraits of generational malaise—and tentative hope—to come from an American director in recent memory.” –Manohla Dargis, New York Times

Like Reichardt's subsequent films, Old Joy is set in the Pacific Northwest and conceived from a story by Jon Raymond. Old friends Mark (London) and Kurt (indie singer Oldham) take a road trip from Portland through Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, driving into the wilderness as much in search of their destination, the Bagby Hotsprings, as a chance to reconnect and rediscover the close friendship inexorably changed over the years by their diverging lives. An exploration of contemporary liberal masculinity Old Joy earned Reichardt praise for bringing a new kind of social realism to American screens.

In advance of its theatrical release, see a sneak peek of Meek's Cutoff on Monday, May 2 at the Harvard Film Archive.

For more Will Oldham visit the Coolidge Corner Theatre, where Oldham will be appearing on April 26th to read Rudolph Wurlitzer's Slow Fade.


Old Joy

Old Joy

April 30 @ 7pm
May 1 @ 8:30pm

Bright Family Screening Room



$10. $7.50 for Members. $5 for Students.



Running Time:

76 minutes


Color, 35mm



The wondrous "sensory gardens" of Farfalle (Butterflies) bring together theatre, contemporary art and technology - at the centerpiece is a special sensor-covered CCC (or “Children Cheering Carpet”) which interacts with dancers and audience in real time.

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