Meek's Cutoff

Meek's Cutoff ★★★★

Reichardt lists Walkabout as one of her top ten, so I think it's fair to assume she's conversing with Roeg across the decades. I felt that way while I was watching it, before I searched for potential connections. The two movies are not simply in opposition, although how interesting that Rod Rondeaux's Native American is explicitly enslaved here. They're just going in the same direction on different paths.

Meek's Cutoff is a survival story. The tight, Academy ratio frame cuts us off from the easy answers; this is not the kind of movie that allows us to believe that the beauty of the landscape will awaken our inner outdoorsman. The long shots serve to heighten the isolation. The limits of the frame are invisible walls, made of thirst and hunger. The characters can see forever but not go forever.

I don't think it's really that Meek changes his mind, there at the end. I just think the women outlast him.

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