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Kelly Reichardt First Cow

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated American Independent Films of 2019: #1. Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow

Top 100 Most Anticipated American Independent Films of 2019: #1. Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow

First Cow

And the most anticipated American independent film project of 2019 belongs to Kelly Reichardt and what will be her eighth feature film. After taking a break from the Jonathan Raymond catalogue when adapting Maile Meloy’s short story in Certain Women (review), Reichardt placed Patrick DeWitt’s Undermajordomo Minor on the back-burner for what would be a partial adaptation of of Raymond’s The Half-Life: A NovelFirst Cow surfaced on our radar late last year and we find the filmmaker take on a narrative that takes place about three decades after Meek’s Cutoff was set. The slow cinema specialist will feature the Chinook people and language – which was used by over 100,000 and prevalent in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest in the 1800s and early 1900s. Actors Rene Auberjonois (Certain Women) and Dylan Smith were recently listed as cast. Once again, Filmscience’s Neil Kopp, Vincent Savino and Anish Savjani produce and Reichardt reteams with Christopher Blauvelt.

Gist: Based on Jonathan Raymond’s The Half-Life: A Novel, this revolves around Cookie Figowitz, the hired cook for a group of rough men on a fur trapping expedition in the 1820s Oregon Territory. One night in the woods he meets King-Lu, a mysterious man fleeing from some vengeful Russians. This is the story of their burgeoning friendship in the ever-changing Northwest landscape–and a get-rich-quick scheme involving the first cow in the territory.

Release Date/Prediction: With production having began in November, unless this arrives at a breakneck speed and gets ready for Cannes, this should be readied in time for a comp slot and Golden Lion hopeful at Venice.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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