During the twelve years separating her first and second films, “Meek’s Cutoff” director Kelly Reichardt helmed a few shorts, the last of which, the experimental “Travis,” was released in 2004. In light of Reichardt’s increasing visibility, ‘Travis’ has now surfaced online, via The Seventh Art.
Running eleven minutes long, “Travis” is made up of just three elements: a loop of an unknown female voice, grainy blown up Super–8 footage and a very unsettling ambient score. Reichardt’s short was both inspired and “appropriated from a re-organized NPR radio interview with an anguished mother whose son was killed in Iraq.” Even a decade afterwards, the short packs a wallop with the mother experiencing the pain over and over, which noticeably never uses the words “war” or "death." Two years before the release of her sophomore feature “Old Joy,” Reichardt was already a master of economy and sparseness.
Watch “Travis” below. Reichardt’s latest film —her fourth in seven years— “Night Moves” opened in select theaters earlier this summer. Read our review here.