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kottke.org posts about Coen brothers

Seven things you didn’t know about Fargo

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 09, 2016

The Coen brothers’ Fargo was released 20 years ago and to celebrate, Cinefix has a video about seven things you (probably) didn’t know about Fargo. The movie, not the city. There are probably way more than seven things you don’t know about Fargo, North Dakota.

Fun fact: I was living in WI near the MN border when Fargo came out and remember all the Minnesotans complaining about the accents. While I won’t say the accents were entirely accurate, all you had to do was turn on the MN State hockey tournament on channel 9 and listen to the announcers for a few minutes to confirm that they weren’t all that far off. (See also the 2016 Minnesota State High School All Hockey Hair Team. Uff da.)

We Work Remotely

The Coen brothers: shot, reverse shot

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2016

In this installment of Every Frame a Painting, Tony Zhou examines how the Coen brothers shoot characters in their films close up with wide lenses to created empathy and comedy.

Hail, Caesar!

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 09, 2015

Hail, Caesar! is the name of the Coen brothers’ new movie. It stars George Clooney as a movie star (what casting!) who is kidnapped during the shooting of a epic Roman gladiator picture called Hail, Caesar! This one looks fun. And with the exception of The Big Lebowski, the Coen’s fun movies are underrated,…I quite enjoyed both Intolerable Cruelty and Burn After Reading.

Bridge of Spies

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 08, 2015

Steven Spielberg is directing Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, a movie about the negotiation to release U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers from Soviet custody. Here’s the trailer:

The script was punched up by none other than the Coen brothers.

What are the Coen brothers trying to say?

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 18, 2015

From Steven Benedict, a short video essay featuring the characters from different Coen brothers’ films talking to each other. According to Benedict, the dialogue reveals three main themes of their movies.

While other essays have assembled several recurring visual tropes: elevators, dogs, dream sequences, bathrooms etc., this essay has the characters talk to one another across the films so we can more clearly hear the Coens’ dominant concerns: identity, miscommunication and morality. Taken as a trinity, these elements indicate that the Coens’ true subject is the search for value in a random and amoral universe.

(via @khoi)

Behind the scenes with the Coen brothers

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 21, 2014

When Alex Belth was 25 years old, he worked with Joel and Ethan Coen on The Big Lebowski, first as a personal assistant and then as an assistant editor. He recently published a short Kindle book about the experience.

The Dudes Abide is the first behind-the-scenes account of the making of a Coen Brothers movie, and offers an intimate, first-hand narrative of the making of The Big Lebowski — including never-before-revealed details about the making of the film, and insight into the inner workings of the Coen Brothers’ genius.

An excerpt of the book was published on Deadspin.

Joel told Goodman about re-recording dialogue for the profanity-free television version of Fargo. They rewrote the line, “I’m fucking hungry now” to “I’m full of hungry now.”

“Why didn’t we write it like that originally?” said Joel. “It’s funnier.”

Goodman said, “Who else is coming on this show?” (In Los Angeles, movie people call a movie a “show.”)

There was Steve Buscemi as Donny, Julianne Moore as Maude, Jon Polito as Da Fino.

Joel said, “Our friend Luis, who was an assistant film editor on Hudsucker, will be playing the enraged Mexican.”

“Yeah, you’ll like Luis,” Ethan said in a creaky voice. “He makes a big statement.”

“Turturro is coming in to play the pederast,” Joel said. “He said he’d do his best F. Murray Abraham.”

(thx, brad)

Fargo TV series

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 10, 2014

I had forgotten the Coens were turning Fargo into a FX TV series. But time has ground onward steadily and lo, the series is set to premiere in April. Here are a whole set of teaser trailers:

Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Oliver Platt? Could be good. (via devour)

Coen brothers next film set in ancient Rome

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 04, 2013

In a recent interview, the Coen brothers revealed that their next movie will be “a sandal movie” set in ancient Rome.

Right now, the brothers are plainly excited about what they’re writing, which they proudly explain, is set in ancient Rome. It’s the allure of the unexpected, all over again.

“It’s like: Would you ever do a sandal movie?” laughs Joel. “It’s big,” says Ethan, grinning. “We’re interested in the big questions. And we don’t (expletive) around with subtext. This one especially.”

Though their movies usually revel in the absurdity of life’s predicaments, Ethan promises this film has answers: “It’s not like our piddly ‘A Serious Man.’” Chimes Joel: “That was a cop-out. We just totally chickened out on that one.”

Inside Llewyn Davis

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 25, 2013

Here’s the trailer for the new Coen brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis.

The film stars relative newcomer Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, and John Goodman and according to IMDB, will be out in February. (via viewsource)

Oh cripes, Fargo to be a TV series

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 25, 2012

FX is developing a TV show “loosely based” on the Coen brothers’ Fargo.

Joel and Ethan Coen are bringing one of their signatures movies to television. FX has closed a deal to develop Fargo, an hourlong project loosely based on the Coen brothers’ 1996 comedic crime drama. The Coens will serve as executive producers on the project, which will be written/executive produced by The Unusuals and My Generation creator Noah Hawley.

(via @fimoculous)

Fargo documentary

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 27, 2012

Minnesota Nice is a 25-minute documentary about the Coen brothers’ Fargo.

(via ★interesting)

Coenfographic

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 25, 2011

An infographic that stitches together the 15 films that the Coen brothers have made.

Coenfographic

True Grit by the Coen brothers

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 28, 2010

Coming this Christmas from the Coen brothers, a remake of the John Wayne classic, True Grit. Here’s the trailer:

(via devour)

A Serious Man trailer

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 30, 2009

The trailer for A Serious Man, a new film from the Coen brothers. According to Wikipedia:

The film is set in St. Louis Park, Minnesota in the year 1967, and is intended in some ways to reflect the childhood of the Coen brothers as they recall it.

This is their first film in quite awhile with no big-name actors…Alan Adam Arkin is the only name I recognize among the cast. I wonder if that contributed to the filming wrapping “ahead of schedule and within budget”. (thx, david)

The Big Lebowski

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 16, 2008

The new Coen Brothers film sounds interesting:

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 04, 2008

The new Coen Brothers film sounds interesting:

Burn After Reading is an upcoming comedy film, set for a September 12, 2008 release, starring John Malkovich, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Brad Pitt, and made by Joel and Ethan Coen. According to the Coens the plot will focus on the world of the CIA, physical fitness in Washington, D.C., and internet dating. The film is the follow up to the Academy Award winning No Country For Old Men and has been described by Tilda Swinton as “…a kind of monster caper movie. All of us are monsters — like, true monsters. It’s ridiculous. It’s much lighter than ‘No Country for Old Men.’”

No Country For Old Men

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 18, 2007

From the past weekend’s box office: the

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 19, 2007

From the past weekend’s box office: the Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men took in $3.1 million on 148 screens while Tom Cruise’s bombtacular Lions for Lambs took in $2.9 million on 2216 screens. Ouch.

Trailer for No Country For Old Men,

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 17, 2007

Trailer for No Country For Old Men, a film by the Coen Brothers based on a book by Cormac McCarthy.

Fargo

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 12, 2007