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Guilty of wanting to be a dry cleaner, sure. But not of murder.

Because the Coens have tried their hand at numerous genres, from noir to screwball to outright surrealism, it wasn’t immediately apparent that they were making the same basic movie over and over. After 30 years and 16 features, however, it’s now hard not to notice that prototypical Coen protagonists are hapless, well-meaning schlemiels upon whom life exacts a toll that’s much worse than they deserve. In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s a hard world for little things (and everyone else)
posted by timshel on Mar 28, 2014 - 74 comments

WHERE'S ITS SCROTUM?!

Though Llewyn appears stuck, he’s the nomad always ecstatic in his circumlocutions. He’s on a road to nowhere but at least trudging on a path to somewhere. The rest of the world marks time, gliding smoothly along the straight line of the future, arrested comfortably in the steady flow of the ever-present, and being naively present relieves one from the nightmare of history. Maybe the materialization of Dylan’s music in the final minutes, when it wasn’t there in the beginning, is another sign that Llewyn’s time has passed, and it’s time to, um, face the music. Like clockwork he goes into the alley to confront the shadowy figure, and takes his punch (this time not saying “I’m sorry?” before the fist collides with his face, however). Consigned again to this cesspool, he doesn't stay down but ascends through iron bar shadows and follows his bellicose aggressor, who gets into a cab and drives off. Llewyn looks on somewhat wistfully, not saying “farewell” in accord with Dylan but rather says “Au revoir”—indicating they’ll see each other again. At that quiet utterance the cab’s wheels screech and turn a sharp corner. The linear trajectory forward is thwarted and Fate's Emissary will inevitably come around again. The Orbital Noose: Inside Llewyn Davis
posted by timshel on Mar 26, 2014 - 25 comments

Oh Gosh.

The Dissolve (previously, previously) looks at the Coen Brothers' 1996 "homespun Midwestern murder story" Fargo: Masculinity And Mike Yanagita, Keynote: Fargo in Five Quotes, Morality And The Coens
posted by The Whelk on Jan 13, 2014 - 84 comments

It all started in Washington Square...

The Coen Brothers latest film "Inside Llewyn Davis" is fictional, but it aims to portray the very specific time and place of the Greenwich Village Folk scene in the early 60's. Reviewers have already noted the similarities between the movies characters and some real life counterparts, starting with Llewyn Davis himself and legendary folk singer Dave Van Ronk. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 29, 2013 - 42 comments

If I had wings like Noah's Dove...

In 1904, John A. Lomax recorded Dink, a levee worker, singing a folk song. In 1934, Lomax published the song in his book, American Ballads and Folk Songs. It went on to become a folk staple. Recently, the Coen Brothers used a new recording of the song by Marcus Mumford and Oscar Isaac in the trailer for the film Inside Llewyn Davis. (Isaac plays the title role.) Jool's Musical Flowers, a blog dedicated to "the ORIGINAL versions of [mostly blues and gospel music] famous songs and songs covered by famous poeople" has compiled a thorough list of covers. The only two I might add are Jeff Buckley's 1992 performance at WFMU, and Joan Baez's 2004 performance at the Bowery Ballroom. (Previously)
posted by Going To Maine on Dec 6, 2013 - 6 comments

Goodman, Goodman, Goodman... and some other guys.

The Howling Fat Men of the Coen Brothers (slyt & nsfw)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 12, 2013 - 19 comments

Fare Thee Well

The entire soundtrack to the Coen brother's upcoming movie "Inside Llewyn Davis" can now be listened to in its entirety online, and for free. [more inside]
posted by onwords on Nov 5, 2013 - 7 comments

A Folk Singer with a Cat

Trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis - the new film by the Coen brothers possibly inspired by the album cover for The Freewheeling' Bob Dylan.
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2013 - 49 comments

Roger Deakins, Perpetual Nominee

Bond film Skyfall has been nominated for its first Academy Awards since 1982. Skyfall was nominated for original score, sound mixing, sound editing, original song, and cinematography. It is also cinematographer Roger Deakins' tenth nomination without a win. [more inside]
posted by troika on Jan 10, 2013 - 48 comments

The Coen Brothers's "Raising Arizona"

Raising Arizona is notable among the Coen Brothers’ filmography for seamlessly fusing the ravishing grimness of their drama with the slapstick antics of their comedy. ... [It] is an intensely bittersweet film. That it is admittedly hilarious distracts from this sorrow, but it doesn’t dampen it. If not the absolute best by the Coens, it’s certainly their most charming. - Michael Nordine [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen on Dec 11, 2012 - 112 comments

The (real) Dude

From director Jeff Feuerzeig, The Dude is a documentary short that follows Jeff Dowd to a Tampa Lebowski Fest. Dowd was a friend of the Coen Brothers and the real-life inspiration for the iconic film character in the Big Lebowski. (Previously: Jeff Dowd of the Seattle Seven is the model for The Dude in The Big Lebowski)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 25, 2012 - 13 comments

You shall Hear things, Wonderful to tell

A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt] is remembered for a lot of things: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography (a pioneer of digital color grading), its whimsical humor, fluid vernacular, and many subtle references to Homer's Odyssey. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music. Assembled by T-Bone Burnett, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads and angelic hymns to wistful blues and chain-gang anthems. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South. Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker's Down from the Mountain, an extraordinary yet intimate concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Chris Thomas King, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley) and wryly hosted by John Hartford, an accomplished fiddler, riverboat captain, and raconteur whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu and YouTube -- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 22, 2011 - 107 comments

Oscar Nominated Screenplay PDFs

A number of the 2011 Oscar nominated screenplays are here as PDFs. The site also has a archives of Coen Brothers and Charlie Kaufman scripts.
posted by dobbs on Feb 24, 2011 - 4 comments

If it's not definitive Coen infographic, it'll do 'til the definitive one gets here.

The Coenfographic (large jpg), by Tom Muller, is a visual representation of actors in Coen Brothers films.
posted by dobbs on Jan 24, 2011 - 35 comments

"Well it sure ain't Ozzie and Harriet"

No Country For Raising Arizona. Parallels between two Coen Brothers movies. Via.
posted by amyms on Jun 27, 2008 - 30 comments

What I Really Want Is To Direct

The films of Joel and Ethan Coen. The films of Tim Burton. The films of Stanley Kubrick.
posted by optovox on Jun 17, 2008 - 63 comments

Return to Form

Joel and Ethan Coen rarely disappoint. Their new film, No Country for Old Men (based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy), is no exception. See also: Cannes.
posted by chuckdarwin on May 30, 2007 - 55 comments

Rustic lake cabin near Stillwater, MN, heart of the Lakes Country. 650 square feet with vintage 1950s appliances and furnishings---lot and woodchipper not included.
posted by nathan_teske on Apr 18, 2002 - 4 comments

Raising Arizona Kids

Raising Arizona Kids magazine. Apparently not affiliated with the Coen Brothers movie. Or irony.
posted by kirkaracha on Nov 20, 2001 - 11 comments

This proves my theory that in reality Fargo is much stranger than the Coen Brothers movie. This is the new way to get people to come to North Dakota: Drive from Florida to knock-over a Super8 motel using, as your threat, an imaginary bomb in a Winnie the Pooh backpack---do all of this to fufill your request to spend the remainder of your life in the country's safest jail.
posted by nathan_teske on Jul 22, 2001 - 13 comments

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