American auteur Kelly Reichardt, an icon of the international film community thanks to her signature “slow cinema” style, will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival with its Pardo d’onore Manor lifetime achievement award.
Since making her acclaimed 1994 debut “River of Grass,” Reichardt has followed her own singular orbit as a true outlier of indie cinema over the course of nearly quarter of a century and a dozen works including “Old Joy,” “Wendy and Lucy,” “Meek’s Cutoff,” “Night Moves,” and “First Cow” — which opened Locarno in 2020 — that have cemented her reputation as one of the most distinctive voices in cinema today.
Reichardt’s new pic “Showing Up” is tipped to premiere in Cannes in May.
The Swiss fest dedicated to indie and cutting-edge cinema in a statement described Reichardt’s films, which she also edits, as being “characterized by intense research on realism and hallmarked by proudly independent creative and production processes.”
“Rewriting the codes of popular genres — thriller, western, road movie — has allowed Reichardt to shift her gaze to new, previously marginalized standpoints that reveal her unusual approach, bringing to the fore topical, urgent issues such as female empowerment and the ecological crisis,” the Locarno statement also said.
Locarno’s artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro pointed out that the fest has chosen to fete Reichardt on its 75th anniversary, a time when “we look back over the years” that is also “an opportunity to imagine the future.” Nazzaro called Reichardt “a benchmark for contemporary cinema that is alive and constantly developing” and “reflects our desire to look ahead, embracing diversity and change.”
Reichardt will receive the Locarno pard on Aug. 12 in Locarno’s Piazza Grande.
The Locarno audience will have an opportunity to meet Reichardt during a public onstage conversation the following day, on Aug. 13, and to see “Meek’s Cutoff” (2010) and “Night Moves” (2013) as part of the tribute.
Previous recipients of the Locarno nod include Samuel Fuller, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Loach, Sidney Pollack, Abbas Kiarostami, Ukrainian director Kira Muratova and Agnès Varda.
The 75th edition of Locarno will run Aug. 3-13, 2022.