© Peripher Filmverleih

USA 2019 | Director, Editor: Kelly Reichardt | Script: Jon Raymond, Kelly Reichardt | Camera: Christopher Blauvelt | Cast: John Magaro, Orion Lee, Toby Jones, Ewen Bremner, Scott Shepherd | Colour | DCP | 122 Minuten | amer. OV with german SUB | Peripher Filmverleih

Cookie (John Magaro) is probably the gentlest person to ever tramp through a Western. Out collecting mushrooms one day, he discovers a salamander on its back and carefully turns it over. And he helps the naked Chinese man (King-Lu) who appears before him in a bush one night. Cookie works as a cook for a troop of fur hunters in wild early-19th-century Oregon. It’s not really his scene. He would rather decorate a friend's cabin with the flowers he picks. Cookie isn’t one to throw punches. .[...] Against the backdrop of this uncivilised country, with its frequently brutal settlers who only look out for themselves, the friendship between Cookie and King-Lu is as out of place as the first cow to ever turn up in the area. “Cows don’t belong here,” somebody says. “Neither do white men,” somebody else responds. [...]

In addition to this story of friendship, First Cow deals with early capitalism: the laws of the market, supply and demand, and how to achieve added value. All these things can easily be related to the sale of doughnuts.

Chief Factor (Toby Jones), who owns the cow and probably most of the countryside around the settlement, is both the most cultivated and the most barbaric character in the film. [...] Cookie's little cakes melt in his mouth; he blathers on about Paris fashions. This makes it all the more gruesome when he begins reckoning how harsh to make his impending corporal punishment of an older worker. He decides it's all right to cripple him because the deterrent effect is more valuable than the man's worth as a labourer. As he presents this callous calculation, the camera circles around him to display his elegantly appointed home, to the point where the viewer grows dizzy. Here Reichardt formulates the logic of capitalism: the rules and power relations in this new society are the same as the old ones. FIRST COW is also a statement about how things might have been done differently. (Martina Knoben, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 9.7.2021)

MON, 10.1.22

8.15 pm

Pupille – Kino in der Uni