First Cow

People often say they “grew up” with an artist’s work. Which can mean that this work became meaningful at a critical time in life, or that the work became a trusted companion, arriving at handy intervals across a broader timescale. It’s coming up to 15 years since I first encountered the work of American director Kelly Reichardt. It was a London Film Festival screening of 2006’s Old Joy. I watched it at the keen, slightly hectoring behest of an industry colleague and, from that moment, have never looked back.

It’s massively satisfying to encounter each new work by this director of films which are perhaps a tad too subtle and delicate to puncture the mainstream (and they are clearly not made with that function in mind). Yet under these placid surfaces lay great riches for those willing to plunge for them. Her latest, First Cow, is no different, a miniature epic which chronicles a fast male friendship, a burgeoning baking empire on the American frontier, and then takes a bittersweet turn into more metaphysical climes.

In this issue, we celebrate the world of Kelly Reichardt by embracing her love of natural landscapes on screen, and also talking to some of her longtime collaborators, including author Jon Raymond and alt rock icon, Will Oldham. And as a special little side-project, we’ve included an alternative history of the New Hollywood cinema of the late ’60s and ’70s as told through a variety of wondrous baked goods created by some of our most gifted collaborators.

In this issue

Horizon’s West
Kelly Reichardt in conversation with Christina Newland, as the pair discuss modern conceptions of the western and the enduring value of old-fashioned craft.

Dear Jon
Caitlin Quinlan speaks to Reichardt’s longtime screenwriting collaborator who has provided the narrative seed for the majority of her movies – including First Cow.

Will Power
Adam Woodward meets the vaunted songsmith to discuss his early roles in Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, and some of his other brief incursions into the world of film – including a Kanye West music promo.

Chirp Thrills
Kelly Reichardt goes to great pains to make sure the birdsong in her movies is geographically and temporally authentic. Jake Cunningham goes on a journey to look at the cinematic uses of birdsong.

The Sky Is Not the Limit
A new book picks apart James Benning’s 2004 film Ten Skies – which is ten shots of skyscapes. Matt Turner meets its author, Dr Erika Balsom, to discuss the crossover between the natural world and experimental film.

The New Hollywood Bake Off
Seven cherished LWLies collaborators create delicious and aesthetically-striking baked comestibles in homage to the films of the New Hollywood era.

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About Little White Lies

Little White Lies was established in 2005 as a bi-monthly print magazine committed to championing great movies and the talented people who make them. Combining cutting-edge design, illustration and journalism, we’ve been described as being “at the vanguard of the independent publishing movement.” Our reviews feature a unique tripartite ranking system that captures the different aspects of the movie-going experience. We believe in Truth & Movies.