Benoit Jacques

WENDY AND LUCY and A SINGLE GIRL: Separated at Birth?

WENDY AND LUCY and A SINGLE GIRL: Separated at Birth?

I’m gearing up for Kelly Reichardt’s MEEK’S CUTOFF this spring, and in preparation, sought out a film of hers I’d not yet seen, the 2008 release WENDY AND LUCY. It’s such a simple and effective piece, beautifully rendered visually. It’s also driven significantly by sound. Dialogue operates here mostly at the level of basic function (“Where’s the nearest garage?” “I lost my dog.” “How much will that cost?”), allowing the sound design of trains and traffic to enhance the tension in quiet dramatic turning points of epiphany or realization, as Wendy’s situation worsens. As the film basically asks us to linger with the protagonist moment to moment, replicating the feeling of real time, it reminded me of another young-woman-in-trouble-in-slow-motion-film, A SINGLE GIRL (Benoit Jacques, 1995).