FIRST COW Trailer: Reichardt Returns to the Old West
Kelly Reichardt is one of America's greatest contemporary filmmakers; her understated yet powerful films (Rivers of Grass, Old Joy, Wendy & Lucy, among others) have examined the lives of the working class, the poor, the misfits, and the drifters in US society of both the past and the present. My favourite film of hers is Meek's Cutoff, an intimate and atypical western that looks at the true dangers of and for settlers and first nations in the late 19th century.
Her latest, First Cow, sees Reichardt returning to that old west, this time with a single drifter trying to find a home and survive with a decent living. Mixing this drifter with trappers, settlers, non-white immigrants, first nations persons, and the land-owning elite, the story looks to the often-ignored part of the old west (and with one of the recently deceased Rene Auberjonois' last performances).
A loner and cook (John Magaro) has traveled west and joined a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, though he only finds connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee). The men collaborate on a business, although its longevity is reliant upon the participation of a wealthy landowner's prized milking cow.
Set for release by A24 in March, the first trailer has dropped, and it looks to be emphasizing the uplifting side of the story (though I expect the film will have a healthy dose of Reichardt's keen eye on the darker side of human nature).