Director Kelly Reichardt creates a humorous and unique portrait of the American Wild West

Os protagonistas são tratados com humor e picardia pela diretora Kelly Reichardt

This year’s Oscars was a milestone for female participation, with two female features being nominated for Best Picture, one of which was nomadic, winning, and two directors competing in her category, Chloe Zhao became the second woman to receive the statue. But the number could have been higher, with the inclusion of such productions as First Cow – America’s First Cow, by Kelly Reichardt, which is in theaters.

In the film based on the book by Jonathan Raymond, the American filmmaker once again goes into the past, demystifying the story told in books and cinema. In 1820, the nearly deserted state in Oregon is fertile ground for masculine adventurers in the fur trade. In this inhospitable human landscape, Cook Cookie (John Magaro) and Chinese immigrant Qing-Lu (Orion Lee) are the exceptions – and not coincidentally they become friends and partners in a venture made possible by the arrival of the first cow in Oregon (yes, The title is incorrect in Portuguese). The problem is that the cow is not theirs.

“Macho Cowboy will never die,” the filmmaker said in an interview during the Rotterdam Film Festival, which took place in two parts, one in February and the other in June. “I really liked the two characters in the book. But especially in a time when we live here in the United States, who can stand a tough guy now?”

So he turned fur hunters into “Muppets”. “They’re ridiculous. It was like a relief, after five years of crap shit being thrown in our faces every day. I don’t think it’s going to die. Look at the guys who invaded the Capitol. They are like fur hunters, they are ridiculous men.”

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Reichardt constantly films the tension between nature and man, or rather, between nature and capitalism. It goes back to your childhood. Growing up in Florida, she remembers building the first McDonald’s. Before long, every other corner of that intersection was occupied by fast food. And even as a small, fast-food fan, she knew it was no good. “What I see is this corporate destruction of beauty and a lack of imagination about the possibilities,” he said. master Class No festival.

The director has always worked in independent cinema with a very modest budget. But that doesn’t mean that, as a woman, she felt welcome. She went 12 years without filming between her first and second feature, making things up in Super-8 in between. “I thought: I’m going to get over it without trying to be a part of it because it’s so painful,” she said, though, noting that she always had friends to rely on. “I’ve always seen my films as artistic projects, with no expectation of what will happen. But I’ve been making films continuously for the past decade, that’s very surprising to me.”

The situation has greatly improved since the early 1990s. One example is the celebration of non-white women and filmmakers in the past year. “On the one hand, I think it’s great, the result of #MeToo. On the other hand, I’m wondering if it’s just a covid effect, in the line ‘Let’s award now because nobody cares. ‘ Let us see if the effect is permanent or not.

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About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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