I’m glad we’ve reached the point in the Western revival where we’re making not just loan gunmen movies but pioneer movies. It’s one thing to battle lawlessness within the loose context of civilization—it’s another thing entirely to be the sole remnants of civilization, beyond the law, beyond the map, beyond the English language:
I haven’t seen any of Kelly Reichardt’s previous movies, mostly because the emotions in her movies seem to me to be so precise and specific that I feel like I’d have to be in the right mood at the right moment to see them, and in the time I have budgeted for entertainment, that moment and that mood doesn’t often occur at the right moment. This strikes more chords for me, as the girl who loved the Little House books but never saw the series, who loves the strange, violent deserts of A Study in Scarlet and the isolation of Red Mars. We’ll never experience anything like this in the United States again, but frontier stories carry a germ of our far future in them.