Old Joy by Kelly Reichardt

This is different from a horror genre because there are no mysteriously lingering shots in the dark nooks of the woods. There is no anxiety between the two. Also, the music does not indicate anything happening beyond our expectations.– morgan jones

My feeling about these two characters is that they have been friends since before college. Kurt knows Mark’s family as evidenced by his having heard about Mark’s dad’s situation. Mark seems to have gone on to college while maybe Kurt didn’t. He seems lost and sort of looking for a map, but not really willing to read one. This is my understanding of his belief in his dreams as signs. Kind of like how he took a Physics class but felt he already understood the theory but actually spent time on his own crazy idea of a tear dropped universe that he can’t prove.

Mark hangs out with Kurt for old-times sake but when he is actually with Kurt he seems to realize that they are very different in their old age. I see this in tidbits of conversation with his wife and in his confused expressions when he is listening to curt at the camp site. He wishes the best for Kurt but can’t help but have a bit of judgment as evidenced by his comment, which he quickly withdrew, about how Kurt could also give back to the community.

I did get the idea that either Kurt was exploring homosexuality by his stories about hot tubbing and close friendships with other guys. So, when Kurt went to rub Mark’s shoulders I was confused as to what he wanted with Mark and Mark’s role. Mark seemed to relax once he realized it was just his shoulders. I figure they had explored a bit together in their past as young boys possibly growing up in the same neighborhood and Kurt never really moved past that, but Mark did. Since Mark had discovered himself to be heterosexual, he wasn’t open to anything past the shoulders. While Kurt, needed to test that because maybe he is still unsure. I’m thinking that this is what keeps him lost in life.

In the end he is looking into stores and I’m totally confused about his intentions. Is he going to rob a place or does he have another dream image or what.

This film is not about them getting lost as much as about a metaphor of their friendship. It is more an opportunity for us to observe how they act together or as individuals when they are lost.

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