2021 ROBBY MÜLLER AWARD goes to Kelly Reichardt
Rotterdam, 2020-12-22 - Bianca van Riemsdijk
International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), the Netherlands Society of Cinematographers (NSC) and Andrea Müller-Schirmer, the late cinematographer Robby Müller’s wife, have launched the Robby Müller Award. Kelly Reichardt will receive the second annual Robby Müller Award. As part of the award, she will also receive a gallery print of one of Robby Müller’s Polaroids.
Introduced last festival edition when it was awarded to cinematographer Diego Garcia, the Robby Müller Award honours an ‘image maker’ (director of photography, filmmaker or visual artist) who, in the spirit of the late Robby Müller has developed an authentic, credible and emotionally striking visual language throughout their work.
IFFR 2021’s recipient, Kelly Reichardt, has been celebrated for her beautiful minimalism, with an emphasis on mood and atmosphere, often following drifting characters through rural environments. Her debut feature, River of Grass (1994), was highly acclaimed and won several awards. Her second feature, Old Joy, became the first American film to win the Tiger Award at IFFR in 2006. 15 years and five features later, we are celebrating her oeuvre and what the jury of the award sees as “a liberating independence and clarity of aesthetic vision”.
Some words from the jury: “We see in Kelly Reichardt, not just a liberating independence and clarity of aesthetic vision, but also someone who, in a self-evident way, carries on Robby Müller’s legacy. They share a talent for depicting the American landscape in all its variety as much more than a supporting character, and for portraying humans in the most subtle and sensitive way. Both are able to visualise what can’t be expressed in words by creating pristine, unforced images in which the narrative can unfold and evolve, and the viewer's gaze can wander.”
Reichardt’s work shows a remarkable sensibility and a diligence of visual language, on a par with the poetic sensitivity that Robby Müller displayed throughout his career.
Independent filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (1964) was born and raised in Miami, and later went on to obtain her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Reichardt continued to win awards and to receive important nominations at major film festivals with her subsequent films. Her latest movie, First Cow (2019), is considered one of the best films of the year. Subjects of her melancholic road movies are often characters on the margins of society, rendering stories of friendship and loss.
Her cinematic language consists of long takes, sparse dialogue and minimalistic action with a strong emphasis on mood and atmosphere. Kelly Reichardt often writes the screenplay and edits her films herself.