Two old friends, Kurt and Mark, reunite for a weekend camping trip in the Cascade mountain range east of Portland, Oregon. When they arrive at their final destination, a hot spring deep in the forest, they must confront the divergent paths they have taken in life.
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I guess we could all do with a special place to unwind from the news and the trials of modern life. Following films like Deliverance and the cinematic tradition of violence and horror out in the wilds, viewers may feel a a sense of unease, so maybe a further dose of nature and meditative space from this unusual film may be in order.
A film this intimate and soft spoken is rare in American cinema these days, which is why it deserves attention and also acts as evidence for why Kelly Reichardt is one of the most under-heard voices in cinema!
I know these places, I know these people, I know these feelings. The less-is-more aesthetic is flecked with subtle but suggestive dialogue, and the melancholy soundtrack from Yo La Tengo perfectly accents the winding Oregon backroads. I appreciated that director Kelly Reichardt doesn't seem to pass judgment on either character as we observe their lives and memories together.
I figured out why some Hollywood movies are easier to watch than independent movies. Independent movies often go for this realism that is painful. They're like really well directed home movies. The advantage of the Hollywood movie is that the situations are the same, but it's pretty people and less realistic plot and dialogue. That allows you some distance.
Well, you're my friend (that's what you told me) / And can you see (what's inside me) / Many times we've been out drinking / And many times we've shared our thoughts / Did you ever, ever notice the kind of thoughts I got? / Did you know how much I love you?
Is there hope that somehow you / Can save me from this darkness? / I know, I see a darkness / I know, I see a darkness...... ---- Will Oldram "I See A Darkness"
Every American knows the desolation of the outskirts of Portland, OR. It is part of every American city. But few know the great nature, the true and overwhelming beauty of America's backyard, a place everyone should escape to more often to reconnect the soul to all earthly things. But even the most breath taking mountain ranges will not heal us if we carry the strife against ourselves in our backpacks..