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Night Out With Richard Hell: Kelly Reichardt
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This project is funded by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, through the generous support of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

+ About the Performance
This program was recorded 12/04/2014 at Symphony Space.

The progenitive NYC icon Richard Hell's influence on popular culture runs so deep it is hard to quantify. With the pioneering 1970s bands Television, the Heartbreakers, and ultimately Richard Hell and the Voidoids, he helped invent punk and what came next. He retired from music in 1984, and has since established a reputation as a writer rivaling his achievement in music. He's the author of two novels, Go Now and Godlike, the collection Hot and Cold, and much journalism in magazines from Vice to the Village Voice to BlackBook (where he was film columnist) to the New York Times. His most recent book is the autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp.

For Night Out with Richard Hell, he takes up residence in the Thalia to set the stage for artists that interest him today. Each evening in the series features an interview by Richard with an artist chosen by him followed by the artist's performance - five events you will not forget.


For this evenings segment, Richard Hell welcomes filmmaker Kelly Reichardt to the Thalia for a conversation and special screening of her 2010 film Meek's Cutoff, which A.O. Scott, writing in The New York Times, called "bracingly original" and a "tough, quiet revelation of a movie." A story of betrayal and survival on the Oregon frontier set in 1845 starring Michelle Williams, Meek's Cutoff has a slow burn plot that seethes with creeping dread. It's also alive with daring and surprising directorial choices. As Hell wrote for the DVD release: "Over and over this movie does things differently than other movies. Kelly Reichardt is brave and stubborn. Like the characters in her film, she's determined to find her way to beautiful, sustaining new territories and she knows she can only rely on her own instincts and judgement to figure out, moment by moment, how to get there."

+ About the Artists


Richard Hell grew up in Kentucky. At 17 he dropped out of high school and came to New York to be a poet. In the early ’70s he formed the band the Neon Boys with his high school friend Tom Verlaine, which evolved into Television in 1974. After a year Richard left that bunch and started the Heartbreakers with former New York Dolls Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan. Hell departed the Heartbreakers in 1976 to found Richard Hell and the Voidoids, whose 1977 album Blank Generation is one of the landmarks of “punk.” The Voidoids would make one more album, Destiny Street (1982), before Hell retired from music. Soon after, Hell became a professional writer, author of the novels Go Now (1996) and Godlike (2005), and the collection of lyrics, essays, notebooks, drawings, etc., Hot and Cold (2001), as well as a contributor of essays, reportage, and fiction to such publications as Spin, GQ, Esquire, Purple, The Village Voice, Vice, Bookforum, Art in America, The New York Times, and The New York Times Book Review. From 2004 to 2006 he was the film critic for BlackBook magazine. His most recent book is the acclaimed autobiography, I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp (2013).


American landscapes and narratives of the road are themes that run throughout Kelly Reichardt’s five feature films: River of Grass (Strand Releasing, 1994), Old Joy (Kino International, 2006), Wendy and Lucy (Oscilloscope Pictures, 2008), Meek’s Cutoff (Oscilloscope Pictures, 2010) and Night Moves (Cinedigm, 2013); and the short narrative Ode (1999). Grants: United States Artists Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Anonymous Was a Woman Award, Renew Media Fellowship. Screenings: Whitney Biennial (2012), Film Forum, Cannes Film Festival in “un certain regard,” Venice International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, BFI London Film Festival. Retrospectives: Anthology Film Archives, Pacific Film Archive, Museum of the Moving Image, Walker Art Center, American Cinematheque Los Angeles. Has taught at School of Visual Arts, Columbia University, New York University and is currently an artist-in-residence at Bard College.

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