Briefly: Angelina Jolie has impressive talent working with her behind the camera for her second directorial effort, Unbroken. Roger Deakins is shooting the film, and Joel and Ethan Coen are doing a pass on the script that also bears work from William Nicholson and Richard LaGravenese.
The film is based on the book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It tells the story of Lou Zamperini, an Olympian in 1936 and a pilot in WWII. In 1943, his plane crashed in the Pacific, and “he survived without food and water for 47 days, enduring shark attacks, aerial attacks and hunger before washing ashore on a Japanese island behind enemy lines, where he was held as a prisoner of war for two years and tortured by his captors.”
Jack O’Connell (Skins) plays Zemperini, and now Garrett Hedlund, who was hoping to play the central figure himself, has signed on to play another role. We don’t have details on the part he’ll play, but with Deakins and the Coens adding their skills, it might not matter. [Variety]
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The number of filmmakers who continue to shoot movies on film dwindles every single day. Now, one of the most well-respected holdouts are going to the digital side. The Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan Coen, believe their new movie Inside Llewyn Davis will be the last one they ever shoot on film. Read More »
Unless you were at a film festival recently, you’re probably still waiting for the new Coen Brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis. The tale of a ’60s New York folk singer got stellar reviews out of Cannes and Telluride. It hits US theaters on December 20.
Of course, with the pending release of one Coen Brothers movie, fans can start to look towards their next work. At the Telluride Film Festival, Joel and Ethan gave a small hint at what they’re currently writing. It’s a film with an opera singer as the main character. Read More »
This weekend has an incredible collection of indie movies opening for your enjoyment; it has been called the best moviegoing weekend of 2013, and for good reason.
But there’s still a lot to look forward to in the colder days of the year. Chief among the much-anticipated films coming this fall is Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest effort from Joel and Ethan Coen. The film features Oscar Isaac as a folk singer in ’60s New York, and he’s not having the easiest time. The guy’s former singing partner committed suicide, he’s on the outs with his former lover and his family, and even his career might be stalling.
For all that might sound dour, this is a Coen Brothers movie, and “dour” is their playground. We’ve seen a couple trailers for this film that play up the character moments and the setting, but this one is poignantly, dryly funny. Hilarious, even, if John Goodman critiquing one person’s method of suicide is your idea of a good comedy bit. (It’s evidently mine, because I laughed a lot.)
Check out the trailer below. Read More »
Briefly: FX is moving into the limited series market with Fargo, inspired by the Joel and Ethan Coen movie of the same name. Fargo was the film that really put the Coens on the mainstream map almost 20 years ago, and this is the second time the film has been used as the basis for a TV show. The series being developed at FX isn’t exactly a TV remake of the Coen Brothers film, however, as it will feature new characters and crimes — the connecting thread will be the location and regional Minnesota quirks
The first casting news is just starting to come out, and Deadline reports that Billy Bob Thornton will play one of the lead roles. He’s Lorne Malvo, “a rootless, manipulative man who meets a small town insurance salesman and sets him on a path of destruction.” So he’s more or less the antagonist, somewhere between the Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare roles from the film.
The other significant report to come out of the FX panel today is that while this run of Fargo will go for only ten episodes, success could help the show transform into an American Horror Story-style anthology that presents a new story and character set each season.
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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.
Read More »
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 »