Third Eye Film Society Forum Index
Author Message

<  Third Eye Film Forums  ~  The Coen Brothers: A Specialty Forum

gromit
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:01 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8799 Location: Shanghai
I was lucky with the Coens.
A friend of mine from high school was into films -- making low-budget films starring his sister and neighbors, etc and still works on the margins of the industry in NYC -- and told me that I had to see this new film which broke through the monotony of the usual early 80's fare (early 80's culture was predominantly like stale or slick late 70's culture).
So we went to see Blood Simple. Since he had some connection with the theater managers, we got to sit up in the balcony which was officially closed off and could even wander in to say hello to the projectionist and smoke a joint if we so desired. I believe we did both.

The film was also memorable, with an edge, a verve and a style which stood out as distinctive. A lively genre exercise with memorable characters, lines, twists.
Even a red herring or two.
That would have been early 1985 (probably around Feb/March). Two years later when Raising Arizona came out, the Coens were already must see filmmakers for me. Didn't hurt that they got a nice write-up in the NY Times in late '85 or '86 about their vision and genius -- they were to be the next big thing.

One thing impressive for me is how I usually enjoy Coen films more on second viewing, as a few scenes (or a character) which jangled on first viewing, become more acceptable, more part of the whole, on re-watching.


Last edited by gromit on Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:18 am; edited 1 time in total

_________________
Killing your enemies, if it's done badly, increases their number.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
gromit
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:28 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8799 Location: Shanghai
Skimming through the Coen Bros. entry on wiki, which is half good/half mushy, at the bottom there are two useful charts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coen_brothers

One shows which regular actors were in which Coen Bros. film. Easy to read, except for being too large for my screen. The other chart has the cost and box office take of each film, but is fairly messy, with some German as well as IMDb and Rotten Tomato rankings graphed on to the same chart.

_________________
Killing your enemies, if it's done badly, increases their number.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
whiskeypriest
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:09 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
Marc wrote:
Whiskey, do you want to do this in chronological order? If so, I need to get my hands on a copy of Blood Simple right away.
We can go in any order we wish.

_________________
I ask you, Velvel, as a rational man, which of us is possessed?
View user's profile Send private message
marantzo
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:21 pm Reply with quote
Guest
Thanks for the links, gromit. Interesting stuff and it confirmed what I thought. Fargo was the first Coen Bros. movie I saw in a theatre.
knox
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1215 Location: St. Louis
Loved TMWWT -- the insertion of incongruous themes is almost part of the Coen trademark. The Stranger in TBL. The desk clerk in BF. The weeping Asian guy in Fargo. All those WTF moments -- the UFO segment in TMWWT just one more.

I'm straining to remember the Tuileries segment in Paris Je T'Aime, which the Coens directed. Straining even harder to remember Intolerable Cruelty. I'm guessing no one here will be moved to see them again.
View user's profile Send private message
gromit
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:09 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8799 Location: Shanghai
The only CB film I haven't seen is Intolerable Cruelty. On that BO chart, I'm surprised that that film was their first big money maker.
I also was not aware that Burn After Reading did so well. A slightly higher take than No Country, and $14M less to make. So Burn is their biggest financial success. In-Cruelty 3rd most profitable, just slightly behind No Country.

_________________
Killing your enemies, if it's done badly, increases their number.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Marc
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:37 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
If you want to join in on a Blood Simple conversation, please start your engines. I'll be kicking off a discussion of the film after watching it tonight.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
gromit
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:07 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8799 Location: Shanghai
Blood Simple trivia:
In an early bar scene, when the bartender steps over the bar, puts a song on the jukebox and returns (doing a brief shuffle on the bartop), the original song was the Four Tops The Same Old Song. Which makes sense in the film, when he tells the girl he's hitting on that he's from Detroit, a big city up north you might have heard of (or whatever the exact dialogue).
But then there seems to have been some sort of rights issue and subsequent versions of the film use the Monkees' song I'm a Believer if I remember correctly. Which of course doesn't have the same relationship with Detroit.

Also, I thought "the same old song" also had resonance with the plot (bodies coming back, everybody suspecting everyone else), and even echoes the genre exercise that the Coens are pulling off (it's the same old film-noir, but with a different beat now that the Coens are on).

Let me know which song is in your version.
I believe The Same Old Song version is no more.
[and not sure if it's related, but The Big Chill came out in the Fall of 1983 and resulted in a sizable Motown resurgence. Blood Simple was created in 1984 and came out in early '85].

Edit: IMDb lists both songs for the soundtrack.
But this is somewhat unclear, in the great tradition of user compiled sites:
Quote:
"I'm a Believer"
(played in the bar on the jukebox by Meurice and later over the final credits -- only in the video version)

_________________
Killing your enemies, if it's done badly, increases their number.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
mirgun
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:54 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 23 Oct 2009 Posts: 165 Location: New York City
Marc wrote:
If you want to join in on a Blood Simple conversation, please start your engines. I'll be kicking off a discussion of the film after watching it tonight.

So do we start with Blood Simple? I wanted to watch it again,got on Netflix and it says that I have it at home since last year! Ha! I looked everywhere and can't find it! Two days ago laughed though watching "Burn After Reading"I guess I wait until it comes up??

_________________
Mirgun
View user's profile Send private message
Marj
Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Can I make a suggestion, Whiskey? I think we ought to do the film Billy wants to moderate. It's The Hudsucker Proxy isn't it? I also think it might be a good idea to do Intolerable Cruelty, just because it's the most mainstream film the Coens ever made. It's not a perfect film but it has scenes that are hysterically funny.

I'm saying this so we can get as much input as possible.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Marc
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:27 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
My Blood Simple review will have to wait until tomorrow. My dvd is defective. Returning it to the video store for another.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
whiskeypriest
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
mirgun wrote:
Marc wrote:
If you want to join in on a Blood Simple conversation, please start your engines. I'll be kicking off a discussion of the film after watching it tonight.

So do we start with Blood Simple?
Apparently! But it is a good place to start. I might not have a chance to rewatch my DVD of it for a week, though, so hopefully the discussion will go that long.

_________________
I ask you, Velvel, as a rational man, which of us is possessed?
View user's profile Send private message
whiskeypriest
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:39 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
gromit wrote:
Blood Simple trivia:
In an early bar scene, when the bartender steps over the bar, puts a song on the jukebox and returns (doing a brief shuffle on the bartop), the original song was the Four Tops The Same Old Song. Which makes sense in the film, when he tells the girl he's hitting on that he's from Detroit, a big city up north you might have heard of (or whatever the exact dialogue).
But then there seems to have been some sort of rights issue and subsequent versions of the film use the Monkees' song I'm a Believer if I remember correctly. Which of course doesn't have the same relationship with Detroit.

Also, I thought "the same old song" also had resonance with the plot (bodies coming back, everybody suspecting everyone else), and even echoes the genre exercise that the Coens are pulling off (it's the same old film-noir, but with a different beat now that the Coens are on).

Let me know which song is in your version.
I believe The Same Old Song version is no more.
[and not sure if it's related, but The Big Chill came out in the Fall of 1983 and resulted in a sizable Motown resurgence. Blood Simple was created in 1984 and came out in early '85].

Edit: IMDb lists both songs for the soundtrack.
But this is somewhat unclear, in the great tradition of user compiled sites:
Quote:
"I'm a Believer"
(played in the bar on the jukebox by Meurice and later over the final credits -- only in the video version)
Copyright issues.

_________________
I ask you, Velvel, as a rational man, which of us is possessed?
View user's profile Send private message
Syd
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:01 am Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 12642 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
For those of you with Netflix accounts, Miller's Crossing, Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski can be watched on line. So can Paris Je T'Aime, where the Coens directed a hilarious segment.

I'll be out of town this weekend, but I put Blood Simple at the top of my queue. The Coens I've seen are Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Intolerable Cruelty, No Country for Old Men and Burn after Reading. I've also seen part of The Ladykillers and have no desire to see the whole thing.

_________________
"Most books on witchcraft tell you that witches work naked. This is because most books on witchcraft are written by men."--Good Omens
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
whiskeypriest
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:10 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
Marj wrote:
Can I make a suggestion, Whiskey? I think we ought to do the film Billy wants to moderate. It's The Hudsucker Proxy isn't it? I also think it might be a good idea to do Intolerable Cruelty, just because it's the most mainstream film the Coens ever made. It's not a perfect film but it has scenes that are hysterically funny.

I'm saying this so we can get as much input as possible.
I take it you are volunteering to lead on Intolerable Cruelty.

We can discuss any or all Coen films. I don't think we need to go chronologically through the oeuvre, but Blood Simple is a great place to start.

_________________
I ask you, Velvel, as a rational man, which of us is possessed?
View user's profile Send private message

Display posts from previous:  

All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 2 of 38
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, ... 36, 37, 38  Next
Post new topic

Jump to:  

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum