Old Joy

Old Joy

Streaming Video - 2006
Average Rating:
6
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Friends Kurt and Mark reunite for a weekend camping trip in the Cascade Mountain range east of Portland, Oregon. For Mark, the weekend outing offers a respite from the pressure of his imminent fatherhood; for Kurt, a long series of carefree adventures.
Publisher: [United States] : Kino Lorber : Made available through hoopla, 2006
Branch Call Number: E-VIDEO
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 76 min.)) : sd., col

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Nursebob
Jul 07, 2016

Writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s small indie gem looks at the roles time and personal choices play in the disintegration of a friendship and she does so with the same naturalistic flow she would later exhibit in "Wendy and Lucy". Although her attention to small details is admirable—a crow perches ominously, forest streams rush ever onward—it is the widening breach between her two characters which takes centre stage. At one point they become lost in the wilderness, both literally and figuratively, before setting up camp next to a makeshift garbage dump and you get the clear impression from Kurt’s aimlessness and Mark’s unease that this is probably the last time the two will ever get together. Indeed, a pair of closing shots show the men returning to two very different realities. Unfortunately Reichardt’s strict adherence to naturalism often works against her with the banal chatter sounding too ad-libbed and the endless montages of country roads and mossy trees coming across as deliberate and studied. But the oppressive silences are perfectly maintained and Yo La Tengo’s unobtrusive score of strumming guitars is shot through with melancholy.

l
lukasevansherman
Dec 11, 2015

The term "independent film" has become as corrupt and useless as "alternative rock" did a decade ago. However, "Old Joy" is an actual, authentic indie film; one that prizes characters, small moments, and a subtle approach over Hollywood gloss and bombast. Will (aka Bonnie Prince BIlly, Palace Brothers) Oldham and Daniel London play two friends who head out to the woods for one last trip together. Oldham is the pot smoking, gregarious, slightly spacy friend, while London is more settled, with a pregnant wife and home. The friendship is plausible and poignant, with Oldham and London both giving quiet, nuanced performances. The filming is low-key and observant, much of it set in the woods around Bagby Hotsprings. Oregonians will especially appreciate the lovely nature photography and the final scenes of Portland at night. If there's a fault, it's that it is almost too low-key at times and much of its substance lays beneath the surface. Yo La Tengo up the indie ante with their spare, plaintive score.

kevfarley Apr 18, 2014

This seems like an artistic and sensitive modern update (marajuana road trip back to nature) sequel to 'Easy Rider' (?) . I don't usually fast-forward,.. but all that car window coverage just felt like 'filler' to me. But there are subtle rewards for the patient. (Kev's PICkS; For a younger and more lively (mescalin road trip back to nature) movie of a similar, but very contrasting, bent ... try to see 'Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus'.)

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Bookworm39
Mar 12, 2014

True to life movie but I found it quite slow and boring.

LindaHolland Feb 04, 2014

This is less of a movie than a bad travelogue! Reams of footage shot through a moving car ... for seemingly no reason. Fast forwarded it hoping to see some point to the film but alas ... nothing ever happened and I didn't really see any point at all.

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HomR
Oct 26, 2012

A very good movie on friendship in the early 21st century.

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