Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2013 by Angie Han
Whereas some filmmakers prefer to stick with one mode or another, the Coen Bros. have shown an ability to leap from Depression-era Greek musical epic to ’90s stoner neo-noir comedy to violent Oscar-winning thriller. Their newest film, Inside Llewyn Davis, sees them dropping by ’60s New York for an intimate character study of a folk musician.
Oscar Isaac stars as the title character, who’s loosely based on real-life singer Dave Von Ronk. Backing him up are an intriguing supporting cast, including Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, and Garrett Hedlund, and a poignant soundtrack mostly comprised of folk covers. Watch the newest trailer and get the soundtrack info after the jump.
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This BBC doc on Joel and Ethan Coen is hardly new — it was created in 2000, during the production of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. But seeing the brothers in action is rare enough that even a 13-year old behind the scenes look is going to count as new for many people. There’s even some interview footage with cinematographer Roger Deakins, who almost as reclusive as the Coens.
The films of Joel and Ethan Coen are so fully formed, and so specific to a recognizable point of view, that viewers seem to want an explanation for the origin of that sensibility. It’s a fool’s errand to some extent; explaining anyone’s artistic work tends to be, and the Coens are more reluctant than most to discuss “reasons.” The ready affability of the brothers in this interview even mocks any attempt to paint them as weird, aloof geniuses. And given that the doc opens with some explicitly outlandish myth-making, it’s worth keeping in mind that there could well be some low-level mythologizing going on throughout. But the Coens’ work is so good that such legend-building is pretty natural.
There’s great stuff here, notably the contradiction between what seems to be a very easygoing shoot, and the rigorously structured production that allows it to be that way. Then, of course, there’s the communication between the brothers, which is so ingrained that it barely even looks like communication at all. And the idea that Fargo was shot just because it was the cheapest script they happened to have laying around at the time is the sort of thing that will make some other filmmakers bang their heads on a table in frustration.
Check out the doc below. Read More »
Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2013 by Angie Han
A sequel to The Big Lebowski never seemed all that likely to happen, but if you were still holding out hope somehow you might as well stop now. Joel and Ethan Coen have expressed their total lack of desire to make any more Lebowski-related films, including the long-rumored spinoff about Jesus Quintana. For that matter, it doesn’t sound like they have plans to revisit any of their older projects — apparently, they’re just not interested in follow-ups. Hit the jump to read their comments. Read More »
The work of Joel and Ethan Coen owes much to many who went before them, but they have few equals. There is no body of work quite like theirs in the post-1980 film landscape. Even in the decades prior, only a handful of directors — Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges prominent among them — can rival the wellspring combination of humor, humanism, and pure verve that the Coens seem able to tap into almost at will. When all is said and done, the Coens will likely stand as two of the very best filmmakers, period. And we get to be around as they release new films every couple years. What a joy that is.
The Coens’ new film, Inside Llewyn Davis, premiered at Cannes this past weekend. Immediately it became the toast of the festival (so far), with effusive reviews praising its tone, humor, and performances. We’ve rounded up a few below, just to give you a hint of what’s being said, some of which helps put footage from the trailer into more context. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
When Angelina Jolie signed on last year to replace Francis Lawrence at the helm of Unbroken, she became the latest in a long line of filmmakers who’ve tried to bring the Lou Zamperini tale to the big screen. And I mean long: Universal has been attempting to make a biopic of the Olympic track star turned World War II Air Force officer for over five decades now, to no avail.
But if Jolie has one advantage over those who came before her, it’s that she’s just brought on some very strong talent behind the scenes. Joel and Ethan Coen have just been tapped to rewrite the script, after a thorough search by Jolie and Universal. Hit the jump to keep reading.
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Posted on Monday, January 28th, 2013 by Angie Han
Superheroes aren’t the only ones showing off their goods today. A batch of new photos have dropped for a trio of highly anticipated releases that don’t involve flowing capes or secret powers (at least, that we know of): Ti West‘s The Sacrament, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis, and Terrence Malick‘s To the Wonder. Check them out after the jump.
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Posted on Thursday, January 24th, 2013 by Angie Han
For their follow-up to 2010’s True Grit, Joel and Ethan Coen are heading to a whole other time and place. Based on the memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street by musician Dave Van Ronk, Inside Llewyn Davis follows the a rising singer-songwriter (Oscar Isaac) through the folk music scene in ’60s New York. The film’s been at the top of my most-anticipated list pretty much since the moment I heard about it, and today we finally have a look at some footage. Watch the first trailer after the jump, but be warned that it contains a bit of salty language.
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Posted on Monday, December 31st, 2012 by Angie Han
The thing about these most-anticipated lists is that they can’t help but be woefully underinformed. While a few of the earlier 2013 releases have already revealed trailers or received film festival attention, others haven’t unveiled so much as an official still. So I’m going mostly by instinct, and as a result I will doubtlessly cringe at some of my misguided predictions when I look back on this list a year from now.
But that’s all part of the fun, of course. What’s exciting about a new year of movies isn’t any one specific title, but the hundreds of new opportunities it offers to be moved, thrilled, delighted, or surprised. That said, there are a few movies I’m especially eager to get to, and you can read my picks for 2013 after the jump.
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What we’ve got here is a remake of a classic caper movie from the writers of Fargo starring an Oscar-winner, a box-office bombshell and a naked Professor Snape. The movie is Gambit, directed by Michael Hoffman, with a screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman. Firth plays an employee desperate to get back at his boss (Rickman) who enlists the help of a cowgirl (Diaz) to con him into buying a fake painting. Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg and performances by Stanley Tucci, Cloris Leachman and Tom Courtenay all factor in. A trailer has been floating around for about a week but is just coming to our attention now. Check it out below. Read More »
The classic Marge Gunderson quote “I just think I’m gonna barf” might comes to mind when you hear that FX has begun adapting the classic Coen Brothers film Fargo for television. But don’t go tossing your cookies just yet. While the idea was already attempted ten years ago without the Coen’s blessing both Joel and Ethan Coen will be executive producing this version of the show, an hour long project “loosely based” on the film written by Noah Hawley (My Generation, The Unusuals). Read more after the break. Read More »