The jury prize at the Deauville Festival in 2020, Kelly Richard’s film is a true false Western, an American myth.
A full preview of Kelly Richard’s films is currently taking place in the center of Pompeii (until October 24) in Paris under the title “L’Amérique Retversée”. On the show, “Bull River”, “Wendy and Lucy”, “Last Song”, “Old Joy” … and the jury prize-winning “First Cow”, last directed by him at the Dew Festival in 2020 (after airing on the Mubi stage on October 20) Theatrical release).
Like most of his films, the American filmmaker filmed this real fake Western in the northwest of the United States. The picture opens today with the discovery of two skeletons buried in the forest; But very soon Kelly Richard teleports us to the same forest, in 1820, in Oregon. That is where the dangerous encounter between the mushroom-collecting cook and a starving, helpless and pursued Chinese man by the Russians takes place; Cookie and King-Lu, played by John McGrath and Orion Lee, will team up and become comrades in misfortune.
The spirit of popular entrepreneurship
In this age of gold, anything seems possible, including getting rich in this area to be explored. Carried on a boat, a cow came to the area and was given to a wealthy owner, the first cow (“first cow”) to set foot in this remote corner of the United States. Every night, Cookie and King-Lu secretly give her milk, and she uses her milk to make donuts and cakes that plunder the whole village, to the delight of trappers and gold diggers. This is certainly a great example of the spirit of the famous American entrepreneur, even if the raw materials come from a theft, the fraud will only last for a period of time.
The square image, the camera close to the ground, the slow nature of the action, the “first cow” so although it happened in wild nature in the time of the pioneers, it is not a classic Western. It is a myth, faith, friendship, power, exploitation and the creation of a new world, not so glorious. America passed effectively again.
Patrick The Flood
“The First Cow”, a film by Kelly Richard (released October 20).