Interview: FIRST COW Director Kelly Reichardt On Her 19th-Century Western

And Taming Bessie The Cow

Nobody makes movies about the Pacific Northwest quite like Kelly Reichardt. Far from the Portland-centric comedies we’ve seen in recent years, Reichardt tells moving, sobering, naturalistic dramas that cover a wide spectrum of genre and emotion. Films such as Old Joy, Wendy & Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, and Night Moves almost serve as a prelude to her latest, First Cow, a tale of friendship, ambition, and greed set in the frontiers of 19th-century Oregon.

Reichardt once again teams with Portland-based writer Jonathan Raymond, whose novel The Half-Life informs the central story within First Cow. In my interview with her, Reichardt talks about her decision to pair down Raymond’s novel, which covers multiple time periods including the present and focus solely on the friendship between wayward chef Cookie (John Magaro) and enterprising Chinese ex-pat King Lu (Orion Lee).

My interview with Kelly Reichardt can be heard in full below, and my review can be found here. First Cow is in theaters now!


SOURCECinema Royale
Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.