Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kristen Stewart stars in Certain Women based on Maile Meloy’s story ‘Travis, B.'/ Listen to William Hurt read the story


We’ve already talked a little about Certain Women which made its debut this past weekend at Sundance. The reviews seem to be good, director Kelly Reichardt is a true indie director so this was never proposed or marketed as a mainstream blockbuster despite the presence of stars like Kristen Stewart, Michelle Williams and Laura Dern. IndieWire describes it this way.
The film’s three parts have the qualities of great literary fiction and of refined art-cinema. Reichardt is primarily concerned with capturing Meloy’s highly specific characters, and the landscape they populate. There’s a lot to be picked up here — about the loneliness of people separated by the American Northwest’s vastness, and about being a good steward of both a land and its history. Then again, a person could get a lot out of staring at an artfully composed photograph of Montana, too. For Reichardt, the aesthetics matter as much as the theme. 
While we knew the film was based on a trio of Maile Meloy’s short stories, we didn’t know exactly which ones. Now we do: Tome/Laura Dern, Native Sandstone/Michelle Williams and Travis, B./Kristen Stewart. Director KellyReichardt has substituted a woman in place of the student, Chet, who tells the story in Meloy’s piece, which it can be argued, changes the tenor of the story. I’m curious, if you’ve read—or listened to Travis, B. beautifully read by William Hurt, below, what do you make of the gender swap? I guess we’ll have to see it to see how it plays out in Reichardt’s adaptation; is the character equally besotted? Is the “Chet” character gay, bi,  or does she just have a girl crush? What do you think?
Sundance Q&A

You can hear William Hurt read Meloy’s Travis B courtesy  of NPR’s Selected Shorts: Let Us Tell You a Story


Tome is available to read on google books.

Native Sandstone is available to read here.


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