Tag Archives: ethan coen

A Serious Man Updates

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Apparently there have been some screenings of the Coen Brothers latest film A Serious Man.  At least one confirmed in New York for people who worked on Ethan Coen’s play Offices.  One viewer described it as “Very Hebrew” and that it “was shot beautifully, Michael Stuhlbarg is a genius, and it plays like a fable out of Jewish folklore.”

Also, the MPAA has released their rating of A Serious Man.  Rated R for language, some sexuality/nudity and brief violence. 

October 2nd gets closer everyday.  Can’t wait!

Offices Final Performance Tonight

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offices Ethan’s trio of plays focused on modern office life closes tonight.  Originally intended to run through 5/31 the run was extended, slightly, and sees it’s final performance tonight.  The project received mostly positive reviews and was well received by audiences.  The play will more than likely be released in book form like his previous theater effort Almost an Evening.

Offices Officially Opens Today

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After 3 weeks of preview performances Ethan Coen’s latest theater attempt opens today.  A collection of 3 one act plays centering around life in the office.  Staring Daniel Abeles, F. Murray Abraham, Brennan Brown, Aya Cash, John Bedford Lloyd, Daniel London, Mary McCann, Joey Slotnick, Greg Stuhr, C.J. Wilson, and Daniel Yelsky. Here are a couple early reviews. 

Offices Atlantic Theater Company
From Santa to ‘Amadeus’ to ‘Offices’

Here’s the New York Times Review
Bloomberg’s Not so glowing review

No Country For Old Men Novel vs. Film

~spoilers~ Upon reading No Country For Old Men you’re immediately struck by how faithful the film is to the book.  You don’t get the feeling “oh, the book is so much better than the movie” or vice versa.  It’s nearly a scene for scene representation and much of the dialogue remains unchanged from Cormac McCarthy’s original prose.  There are three major differences as I see it and they aren’t even really that “major”. 

One, the Mexican’s are at the hotel and a big part of the shoot out that ends with Llewelyn and Anton getting shot.  Though Chigurh manages to kill most of them they’re the reason that Moss was able to get away with his life.  The first time I saw the film I wasn’t really clear on how the Mexican’s fit in.  Including this fact in the film may have helped make their role more clear and help set up the eventual demise of Moss.

nocountry_edtombell Two, there is a lot of Ed Tom Bell narration that isn’t in the film.  Every couple of chapters or so you’ll get another page or two of Sheriff Bell’s philosophy.  This stuff is brilliant and if you read the book after seeing the film you can just imagine Tommy Lee Jones rambling on about his personal doubts, his views on the decline of the world around him, and his struggle with his impending retirement.  For a film I think the Coen Brother’s included just enough of Bell’s thoughts, though they do enhance the novel greatly. 

Three, there’s a fifteen year old runaway in the novel.  Llewelyn picks up a hitchhiker, a teenaged girl who he befriends in a way.  He tries to help her out with money and a little advice but unfortunately he winds up getting her killed in the end.  She and Llewellyn are having a beer outside their motel rooms in El Paso when the Mexican’s show up and they both meet their end.  This fact may have a tragic impact on the way Carla Jean sees her dead husband even though the relationship with the runaway was completely innocent. 

In the end, No Country For Old Men the film isn’t there to capitalize on the existing fans of the novel like a Divinci Code or a Harry Potter.  It’s just an opportunity to tell a good story.  I think both McCarthy and the Coens managed something special here.  Two fantastic and equal pieces of story telling in two completely different mediums. 

No Country For Old Men Double Dip Out 4/7

A little over a year since the first DVD and Blu-Ray release of No Country For Old Men comes the new super duper special limited edition.  Now with more DISCS!  If you didn’t buy No Country the first time around now’s your chance.  The DVD edition comes with 3 discs one for the film, one for the special features, and one for a digital copy.  Blu-Ray has 2 discs one for film and special features and a second with a digital copy.  The digital copy allows you to easily put the film on your computer and play it there or on a portable media player.  I did this with my Dark Knight blu-ray and it worked great.  No commentary here but that isn’t terribly surprising.  The Highlights are a 40 minute segment with Brolin and Bardem at an Apple Store event and an hour long Q&A with the Coens and others hosted by Spike Jonze. 

**Update 4/9/09**  Just got my new No Country Blu-ray from Amazon today.  In the “liner notes” is a mail in rebate offer.  It allows you to submit your UPC from the original DVD or Blu-ray release and a UPC from the new Collector’s Edition and get a $10 rebate.  So, they know they’re screwing us but if you’re one of the 10% of people who actually look at the junk they stuff in DVD cases and want to waste 20 minutes filling out the form and gather the needed proof of purchase you can have a fraction of your money back.  Thanks Disney, Miramax, and Paramount Vantage. 

Bonus Material:
The making of No Country for Old Men
ABC "Popcorn" video
Channel 4 News Joel And Ethan Coen appearance
Lunch With David Poland  – IKLIPZ-Javier Bardem And Josh Brolin      interview
WNBC Reel Talk With Lyons & Bailes Josh Brolin
Los Angeles Writers Guild of America Q & A Panel
Six additional audio interviews
Digital Copy: Watch your DVD in the living room and your Digital Copy on the go
Working with the Coens
The Diary of a country sheriff
Josh Brolin’s unauthorized behind-the-scenes featurette
Q & A with Joel And Ethan Coen, Roger Deakins and the sound and production crews
Charlie Rose featuring Joel And Ethan Coen, Josh Brolin And Javier Bardem
EW.com Just A Minute With Javier Bardem
Variety Screening Series Q & A
In-store Appearance With Javier Bardem And Josh Brolin

The Dude Abides the Gospel According to The Coen Brothers

thedudeabidesbook A forthcoming book by Cathleen Falsani is scheduled to be released in October, to coincide with the release of A Serious ManIn the spirit of The Gospel According to The Simpsons, and the Gospel According to Disney the book will look at the serious existential and theological questions presented in their films. 

Cathleen Falsani is an award winning author of two previous books The God Factor and Sin Boldly and the religion columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times.  In addition to that she is a great fan of The Coen Brothers.  Check out her blog at The Dude Abides and follow her on Twitter.  The Dude Abides is now available for pre-order at Amazon.

Original Press Release

No Cannes for Coens

It looks as though A Serious Man will not be ready in time for Cannes in May.  Various reports are saying that Joel and Ethan will not be taking their latest film to the Festival that has treated them so well in the past. 

Of the Coen Brothers films 8 of 13 went to Cannes.  No Country for Old men, The Ladykillers, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, The Hudsucker Proxy, Barton Fink, Raising Arizona all appeared at the most respected of film festivals. 

bartonfink01 The Man Who Wasn’t There earned them the best director award in 2001.  Best Director was won again in 1996 with Fargo.  In 1991 Barton Fink turned in the best results with 3 wins.  The Palm d’Or the most prestigious prize, Best Director, and Best Actor for John Turturro. 

With results like that it’s a shame they won’t make it back with A Serious Man. Maybe they’ll be at the Toronto film festival in September which is closer to the release date of October 2nd.

Who dares try to fill John Wayne’s shoes.

johnwayne I was just thinking about who the Coens could possibly have in mind to play Rooster Cogburn in their upcoming adaptation of True Grit. I’ve seen many names thrown about as possibilities.  Michael Caine, Peter O’Toole, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Nolte, James Caan, and even Steven Segal.  To the latter, I say, please no.  In reading several different blog posts on the subject I noticed there’s even a little viral marketing campaign to get Val Kilmer considered for the role.  I think the most obvious choice, given Joel and Ethan’s propensity to use the same actors, is Tommy Lee Jones.  It just makes sense to me.  He’s around the right age, he’s a little rough around the edges, he’s got enough clout that everyone won’t be saying “he could never pull it off”, and he was brilliant in No Country for Old Men and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. I’d almost be willing to bet on it.  What do you think?