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River Of Grass
     

River Of Grass

Director: Kelly Reichardt, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Lisa Bowman

Cast: Kelly Reichardt, Larry Fessenden, Dick Russell, Lisa Bowman

 

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River of Grass has all the elements of a conventional road movie: a car, a gun, criminal plans, and young lovers on the run from an angry father who also happens to be a suspended police officer. But writer and director Kelly Reichardt has instead taken these familiar elements and fashioned an anti-road movie, a deadpan film that is more existentialist comedy

Overview

River of Grass has all the elements of a conventional road movie: a car, a gun, criminal plans, and young lovers on the run from an angry father who also happens to be a suspended police officer. But writer and director Kelly Reichardt has instead taken these familiar elements and fashioned an anti-road movie, a deadpan film that is more existentialist comedy than crime drama. The young lovers in question are Cozy, the cop's daughter, and Lee Ray, a shady character from the wrong end of town. Lee Ray comes into possession of a pistol, and soon he and Cozy find themselves unintentionally involved in a shooting. Fearing capture by the law, the two make plans to leave town, committing a series of robberies on the way. However, they don't manage to get very far; indeed, the film's central premise is how the romantic myth of lovers on the lam proves disappointing in the face of a far more pedestrian reality. This well-received, low-budget indie was shot on location in South Florida, placing its story against an appropriately depressed landscape of sun-bleached strip malls, barren highways and overgrown, swampy fields; the title is another name for the Florida Everglades.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
The lovers-on-the-run genre gets a dry, humorous deconstruction in this film by first-time director Kelly Reichardt. Using all the elements of a typical road movie, this story refuses the romantic idealization inherent in such classics as Bonnie and Clyde, instead showing the protagonists in a more realistic light. Displacing the daring femme fatale is Cozy (Lisa Bowman), a housewife and mother who is shown doing gymnastics in the yard out of boredom. She meets Lee (Larry Fessenden), another lonely, disillusioned nobody, who is also trapped in a humdrum existence. When fate forces them together, they are presented with the idea of escape. Despite their seemingly criminal circumstances, Cozy and Lee are just too good-natured and average to become wrapped up in the cliché of the dangerous lovers. The characters are treated with care rather than recklessness, and even the obligatory highway cop gets a little heart. Cozy's deadpan narration perfectly captures her poignant stagnation with a gentle wit, and cinematographer Jim Denault uses the bleak Florida landscape well as a backdrop for hopeless wandering. The humor is both sad and sweet, telling of desperate loneliness coupled with a general slack, similar to the dry comedy in Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise. Also effective in personifying the loss, or lack, of one's dreams, is the character of Cozy's dad, Jimmy Ryder (Dick Russell), as an aging ex-cop who used to be a jazz drummer.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2016
UPC:
0857490005189
Original Release:
1994
Rating:
NR
Source:
Oscilloscope
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:16:00
Sales rank:
14,311

Special Features

New feature-length audio commentary with director Kelly Reichardt and producer/actor/editor Larry Fessenden Restoration presentation Theatrical trailer With an exclusive essay by film writer and curator Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan

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Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- River of Grass
1. Personal History
2. "River Of Grass"
3. Missing Gun
4. Drum Solo
5. Night Out
6. Shot In The Dark
7. "Travelin' Light"
8. Investigation
9. Crime Spree
10. Clues
11. Photo Album
12. A Ghost
13. Tolls
14. End Credits

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