Kelly Reichardt’s ‘Meek’s Cutoff’: The Camera’s Relationship to Characters and Power

Meeks Cutoff

In reclaiming the era, Kelly Reichardt created a representation that centers the experiences of those not served by the traditional Western. A view of the life of women divorced from the patriarchal lens, a view of the treatment of Native Americans divorced from the lens of white supremacy.

‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’: A Vampire with No Name

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night 5

Enter The Girl, a mostly silent observer to the rotting underbelly of Bad City. She shares a kinship with the likes of Shane and The Man with No Name — a hero with mysterious origins and questionable morality who ultimately defends those who cannot help themselves. … Once The Girl arrives, it’s essentially Amirpour’s playground as she honors and subverts Westerns and horror films.

Queer Post-Apocalyptic Western ‘The Lotus Gun’ Director Interview

TheLotusGun-3 LaurenAvery+DashaNekrasova

‘The Lotus Gun’ is a critically acclaimed short, independent student film co-written and directed by Amanda Milius. The film is a beautifully rendered post-apocalyptic story with a Western aesthetic that features a queer relationship between its two female leads.

Domesticating the Old West: Feminism and ‘The Harvey Girls’

The Harvey Girls

In a world commonly presented as male dominated, ‘The Harvey Girls’ gives us a portrait of the Old West corralled by women; where women aren’t roped into marriage, take on male-centric jobs, run restaurants, and become friendly with their enemies. Though the 1940s Hollywood veneer of breeziness remains, ‘The Harvey Girls’ uses its flippant presentation to give a deeply feminist examination of how women worked and struggled to carve out a piece of the West on their own terms.

Let’s All Calm Down for a Minute About ‘The Hateful Eight’: Analyzing the Leading Lady of a Modern Western

The Hateful Eight

In an action movie, violence is due to befall all characters. Is violence against any female character inherently woman-hating, inherently misogynist? … It’s possible that subconscious sexism makes people quick to see her as a victim, and then criticism of the trope of women as victims may be getting in the way of seeing the agency and complexity of a character like Daisy Domergue.

‘True Grit’: Ambiguous Feminism

Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross

Mattie wears dark, loose, practical clothing. She climbs trees and carries weapons. She shows utter disdain for male privilege or La Boeuf’s pervy allusions to sexual contact. She has no interest in the older men for romance or protection. She is only concerned with their usefulness to her task, and she uses her will and her reasoning rather than seduction to convince them. Steinfeld’s Mattie emanates competence and confidence.

Ripley’s Pick: Meek’s Cutoff

Meek’s Cutoff (2010) Meek’s Cutoff is the kind of quiet movie that doesn’t get a lot of attention–or box office dollars–but should. Set in 1845 on the Oregon Trail (insert obligatory joke about the Oregon Trail computer game), three families make their way west with the help of Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood), but soon realize […]

Bitch Flicks’ Weekly Picks

The Jury Awards – International Women’s Film Festival 2011 from Women and Hollywood A Black Woman’s Plea for Justified – The Red-State Western You Should Be Watching from Racialicious Redefining Dora: From Explorer to Princess from Marinagraphy Meek’s Cutoff: Professor Kelly Reichardt’s Filmmaking 101 Primer from Thompson on Hollywood Tropes vs. Women #3: The Smurfette […]

Preview: Meek’s Cutoff – A Feminist Western?

Shirley Henderson, Zoe Kazan, and Michelle Williams star in Meek’s Cutoff I’ve never really talked about my love for Westerns here, or all of my jumbled ideas about the genre and feminism (someday I’ll write a long post about it, or an essay, or a book). But, let me try to (briefly) sum up my […]

Best Picture Nominee Review Series: True Grit

True Grit (2010) This is a guest review from Cynthia Arrieu-King The Coen Brothers have triumphed in recognizing that their particular wifty and broad take on American violence could better the classic Western film True Grit. The original 1969 version drew from the campy Western novel True Grit by Charles Portis, and had a play-time, […]