“First Cow” Economics: Supply, Demand, and Diminishing Marginal Utility

Part 1 of a series analyzing the economics in Kelly Reichardt’s latest film

Money exchanges hands in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
Money exchanges hands in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
How much for an oily cake? | Screen grab from “First Cow”

Increasing the Supply

Orion Lee as King-Lu in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
Orion Lee as King-Lu in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
“Only so many we can make in a day, my friend” | Screen grab from “First Cow”

“They wanna keep those prices up. They’re not dumb.” — Villager

Increasing the Demand

Villagers lined up in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
Villagers lined up in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
Shortage: demand > supply | Screen grab from “First Cow”

Villager A: “I’ll give you 6 ingots for that last one!”
Villager B: “7 shells.”
Villager C: “7 shells, 1 ingot!”

Diminishing Marginal Utility

Scott Shepherd in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
Scott Shepherd in Kelly Reichardt’s film “First Cow”
“I’m sick to death of salmon already” | Screen grab from “First Cow”

“It won’t last long. They’ll get tired of it, and there will be more milk cows here soon. We got a window here, Cookie.”

Film buff, management consultant, and artist—I dissect films with the interdisciplinary perspective they deserve. www.rocsu.com

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