You might not think of Kelly Reichardt as a genre filmmaker, but that may be because she’s hidden particular tropes beneath her pensive and patient filmmaking style. Whether its the western “Meek’s Cutoff” or thriller “Night Moves,” the director has applied her own distinct touch to each of her pictures, creating an oeuvre all her own. However, a project she’s currently working on might be a bit more tricky to reshape into something with her own unique vision, which makes it all the more exciting to see what Reichardt does with it.
The LA Times reveals that the writer/director is currently adapting author Patrick deWitt‘s novel “Undermajordomo Minor” for the big screen. The story is a castle set parable that follows a young man who gains employment under the mysterious Baron Von Aux. Here’s the book synopsis:
Friendless and loveless, young and aimless, Lucien (Lucy) Minor is the resident odd duck in his bucolic hamlet of Bury, a weakling and compulsive liar in a town famous for producing brutish giants. When Lucy finds employment — as Undermajordomo, assisting the Majordomo of a remote, foreboding castle — he soon discovers the place harbors many dark secrets, not least of which is the whereabouts of the castle’s master, Baron Von Aux. Along the way, he encounters thieves, madmen, aristocrats, and Klara, a delicate beauty for whose love he must compete. Thus begins a tale of theft, heartbreak, mystery, and cold-blooded murder in which every aspect of humanity is laid bare for our hero to observe. Undermajordomo Minor is an adventure story, a fable without a moral, an ink-black comedy of manners, and a love story — and Lucy must be careful, for love is a violent thing.
It’ll be interesting to see what Reichardt’s approach is, particularly as she works in collaboration with deWitt. Will they keep the fantastical setting, or use the story as the framework to refashion it against a contemporary backdrop? Similarly, it’ll be be fascinating to see how Reichardt’s aesthetic evolves for this material.
As for deWitt, he’s something of a fave for auteurs at the moment, with Jacques Audiard gearing up to shoot an adaptation of “The Sisters Brothers” with John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix. And here’s hoping we learn more about both projects very soon.