Acclaimed filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (Wendy & Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves) once again trains her distinct and perceptive eye on the Pacific Northwest, this time evoking an authentic look at early nineteenth century life with present day relevance.
A taciturn loner and skilled cook (John Magaro) has travelled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds true connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune; soon the two collaborate on a successful business, although its longevity is reliant upon the clandestine participation of a nearby wealthy landowner’s prized milking cow.
From this simple premise Reichardt constructs an interrogation of foundational Americana that recalls her earlier triumph Old Joy in its sensitive depiction of male friendship, yet is driven by a mounting suspense all its own.
The newly released clip offers a glimpse at the evocative tone and setting of the film as the eponymous cow is carefully transported upriver and brought ashore.
Following its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, FIRST COW screened at the Locarno Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and competed for the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival. It won Best Film at the 2020 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, and last month was nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature and Best Director.
FIRST COW is a quietly suspenseful look at male friendship and the peculiar rhythms of rural life from one of the great modern American filmmakers.
FIRST COW will be released by MUBI in cinemas in the UK and Ireland on 28 May 2021