the coen brothers

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 »

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The Coen Brothers

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 »

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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 »

Inside Llewyn Davis

There’s a new film from Joel and Ethan Coen this year, and that is a wonderful thing. The first footage we saw from the movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, announced a preview screening and introduced us to the folk singer played by Oscar Issac, and to characters played by Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and a few others. (Along with a cute cat.)

A new red-band trailer changes just a few things from that first look — a bit of Carey Mulligan’s dialogue is cut, as is one telling shot of John Goodman, and there are a few extra shots at the end to help ID the cast. (As with the prior trailer, this is “red-band” only for a bit of cursing.) Not that the changes really matter, as the effect is much the same. If you didn’t see the screening invite trailer when we posted it in January, here’s your chance to follow along.

Look at it this way: the takeaway here is that this trailer has just a bit of new footage, and for Coen fans that’s probably enough. There’s also a new poster to go along with the film’s Cannes debut. Both are below. Read More »

Inside Llewyn Davis 1

It’s great that folks in Cannes will get a chance to see Inside Llewyn Davis, the new film from Joel and Ethan Coen, later this month. But for the rest of us… how does December sound? Not so great, right? I’ll take a release date inside this calendar year for a new Coen Brothers movie over no date at all, but that December date won’t even put the film in theaters nationwide. It’s an award-qualifying run, which will lead to an expansion starting December 20. More info is below. Read More »

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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Good news for Coen Brothers fans: the pair’s new film, Inside Lleywn Davis, has a home. CBS Films bought the movie for US theatrical distribution. We don’t have a release date yet, though we can likely expect to see it this year. A trailer for the film was released in January, but that won’t be the final look at the indie that Joel and Ethan Coen shot last year. (The movie was the first one they did in many years without any studio or distributor backing.)

The film stars Oscar Isaac as the title character, a folk singer navigating life in New York in the ’60s. The supporting cast includes Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, and Justin Timberlake. Read More »

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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