How director Kelly Reichardt kept busy during the coronavirus pandemic

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Kelly Reichardt — director of Sundance movies including “Meek’s Cutoff” and “Certain Women” — explored another artistic outlet during the coronavirus pandemic when her latest film was locked out of theaters.

Her new movie — “First Cow,” featuring Alia Shawkat — hit cinemas in limited release March 6, just before they all shut down. The director recalls in Francis Ford Coppola’s new issue of Zoetrope: All-Story magazine that she knew it was a bad sign when she was promoting the film at the Harvard Film Archive on March 10, and an audience member refused to handle the microphone that was being passed around during the Q&A.

The move even caused controversy when “the host read this as bad behavior and would not allow the mike-less question to be asked.” When Reichardt returned to her hometown of Portland, Ore., she went into lockdown and stocked up on art supplies with the aim of teaching herself to draw in isolation. She has debuted the resulting artwork in Coppola’s quarterly.

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