Archive for the ‘Blood Simple’ category
On August 30th, 20th Century Fox are releasing the Coen Brothers Collection Blu-ray boxset comprising Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing and Fargo. Other than Fargo they are Blu-ray debutants. They will all be available separately and will contain the same special features as their DVD equivalents (links below will take you to the Amazon.com pre-order pages)…
- Commentary with Kenneth Loring of Forever Young Films
- Cast and crew biographies
- Production notes
- Theatrical trailer
- Theatrical trailer
- TV spots
- Shooting Miller’s Crossing: A Conversation with Barry Sonnenfeld featurette
- Interview Soundbites with cast members Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, and John Turturro
- Still gallery
- Theatrical trailers
- Commentary with cinematographer Roger Deakins
- Minnesota Nice featurette
- Trivia track
- Still gallery
- American Cinematographer article on the film
Yesterday Empire Magazine hosted a live webchat with none other than Ethan Coen. Ostensibly it was to discuss True Grit, which is released in the UK tomorrow, but the subject matters were wide and varied. I have cheekily copy and pasted it below but if you prefer to read it au naturel then head over to Empire’s site.
j_clark says: What made you choose to refer majorly to the original text [of Charles Portis’ True Grit] as opposed to the ‘69 film?
Well, I’ll tell you: we saw the ‘69 film in ‘69 so we didn’t remember it very well. The impetus for making the movie was an enthusiasm for the book, and we really only vaguely remembered the movie.
rhysf1 says: Do you find it difficult faithfully adapting a novel and not being able to use some of your classic dialogue and character names?
Character names, that’s interesting, because we actually rewrote a script once as a writing job because we liked one of the character names. The name was basically all we liked from the original script: the character’s name was Gus Petch. We actually ended up making the movie, it was Intolerable Cruelty. But no, we don’t store up names for later use, so we didn’t feel stymied in not being able to use our own character names.
Miles Messervy 007 says: Why ‘Roderick Jaynes’?
Oh, I don’t know. The name came out of the air, I don’t know. We decided he was from Hove, and embittered. Possibly the two things are related. I don’t know where the name came from, though.
Drew 666 says: What makes Joel laugh?
Could you talk about when you bring DoP Roger Deakins in and how his input impacts production? What’re the main things that Roger brings to the process?
He comes in as early as he can, and that’s totally contingent on his schedule. If he’s free, long before we start shooting then what we usually do is a draft of the storyboards without him and then a draft with him. We scout locations with him, again contingent on his schedule. He basically does everything with us from the point he’s able to sign on. Participating in the location scouting and the storyboards is important because it just goes to what the movie looks like, and if he’s shooting something.
Daryn says: Now that cinema tastes seemed to have changed and audiences seem more open to arthouse and experimental movies, is there any chance we will ever see your adapation of To The White Sea?
Oh no. We worked on it with a producer named Richard Roth, and Jeremy Thomas. They’re both great – Jeremy came very close to getting us the budget, which was large given the nature of the movie. But he came up short even with Brad Pitt doing the movie for free. So if we failed under those circumstances I don’t know that we’ll ever succeed. Also, Brad’s too old now.
J.D. DRUMPELLIER says: Would you ever consider making a horror film? I know you’ve dabbled with classic genre horror imagery in Blood Simple and the like, but would you ever consider just making an all-out horror picture in the same vein as Raising Arizona is an all-out farcical comedy?
Funny you should ask. Yes, we’re working on a couple of scripts now; one of which it would be fair to call a full-on horror movie. Frances McDormand is the monster.
thatfilmlover says: Joel and yourself have directed six actors to Oscar nominations, and two of them to wins. Now with Hailee [Steinfeld] and True Grit, what’s your secret to getting the best out of actors?
Not doing anything. We just cast actors who know what they’re doing and who we like working with. Actually, the whole directing actors is a mystery to me. I don’t know that we really do anything. We’d like to take credit for all their performances but…
nickjhp says: I was just wondering what the significance of the first scene in A Serious Man is? Oh… beats me. It’s better with it than without it, right? I don’t know.
El Dukerino says: Charles Portis has been described as “like Cormac McCarthy, but funny”. Do you think that’s fair?
It’s unfair to Cormac. They’re both very funny. Cormac is… I was going to say drier, but that’s not true: Charles Portis is very dry. Maybe we were unfair to Cormac: there were a lot of laughs in the novel No Country For Old Men, as there are in his other books, but we didn’t include any of them. Probably because they’re mostly in the sheriff’s monologues, which are totally absent from the movie.
Rhu says: Are there any of your films that feel more “yours” or more “Joel’s”? Or is everything really 50/50?
No, we write them all together, we talk through each script. There’s no separating even bits of movies, much less whole movies as between the two of us.
TaraReid says: Hi Ethan! When are we starting filming on Lebowski 2? My agent apparently knows nothing but I still have the job don’t I?
This was in the US press – Tara Reid announcing Lebowski 2. George Clooney periodically announces a movie called Hail Caesar that we’re apparently going to do with him. And John Turturro’s been after us for years to do a movie focused on his character in The Big Lebowski, the paedophile.
fakeplasticmax says: What are your thoughts on Lebowski’s immense cult following, with things like The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski and the Church of the Latter-day Dude? Did you in some way expect the Dude phenomenon to take off as spectacularly as it did?
No, I haven’t heard of the Church of the Latter-Day Dude. Do they actually convene and hold services? No, we didn’t expect that, no.
James Barrett says: Is there a possibility that you may remake the sequel to True Grit (Rooster Cogburn, 1975) in the future?
Yes, if we can get Cate Blanchett to do the Katharine Hepburn part. We’re in negotiations with her people.
Buddy says: Barton Fink is hired to write a wrestling picture. The Naked Man, which you co-wrote, was a wrestling picture (albeit a rather strange one) what can you tell us about their connection (if any connection exists)?
What would be a not-strange wrestling picture? I don’t know, no connection. People like wrestling. There are just some things that people like. People like cows. People like Dutch doors. One just recognises what people like.
Finkblot says: Joel, have you considered working with Sam Raimi once again? Hudsucker Proxy was a revelation, and Crimewave was insane!
No, Sam’s too busy. We’re game. We’re in negotiations with his people.
rolotomasi says: What is your attitude towards film criticism? Do you pay attention to the reviews your pictures get?
Yes, I love reading reviews. I love reading bad reviews. When they’re really nasty they feel personal in a way that you never get in real life, where people are generally polite. They’re really interesting – actually, and I always find it mysterious what gets up people’s noses. Good reviews are not so interesting, because it’s basically people saying, “I really liked your movie,” which they do say in real life.
Mrs. Fink says: Ethan, I have to know… what’s your favourite sandwich?
Oh. Well, OK, prosciutto and mozzarella, a little arugula, oil and vinegar on it. Are you offering?
DavisBrown says: How long did it take you to find the right person to play the character of Mattie Ross? Do you enjoy working with younger people on set?
Many months. Casting people were looking throughout the States for about six months, at least, before we started shooting, and they saw thousands of people – probably 15,000 girls, either in person or through online submissions. 14,990 of them were dreadful. Joel and I saw a tiny fraction of who the casting directors saw, a few of whom were interesting. But we only saw Hailee Steinfeld about four weeks before we started shooting. We were starting to feel some anxiety until we met her. And it’s fun working with young people. The process has been fun for her in a way that it sometimes isn’t for us and the other more experienced actors. And that’s actually contagious on the set.
|John Turturro’s been after us for years to do a movie focused on Jesus from The Big Lebowski.|
Rhu says: Does it feel weird after the Oscar win, that you now basically are a part of the establishment? It would have seemed incredibly unlikely not that long ago.
Yes, it’s very strange. I was in the Oscar mosh pit last year, looking around thinking, “I actually know most of these people.” It’s alarming. But I don’t think we can be blamed for it; we got nominated for A Serious Man – I mean, who could blame us for that?
lloydwhittle says: What character are you most proud of creating?
Sy Ableman. Fred Melamed’s character in A Serious Man. Best movie monster ever!
Michael Welsh says: I remember reading you basically went door to door to finance Blood Simple – would you give the same advice to aspiring filmmakers today?
I don’t know, I really don’t know. That was more than 25 years ago, so I don’t know how relevant our experience is now. I don’t know what the experience of starting out in the movie business is now.
Mark_It_Zero says: What’s the one thing that you and your brother argue most about?
We don’t really argue. When we’re writing it’s not even like there are opposing points of view; mostly it’s like we’re staring at the wall and any idea is welcome. And once the script is finished the process of writing the script together has us obviously very much on the same page. We have other long-standing collaborators as well and we also don’t argue with any of them – we’re obviously very non-confrontational people.
Marmotman says: Any plans on going into a big-dollar TV series a la Spielberg, Bruckheimer etc? Even if not, any old TV shows either side of the pond that you’d like to remake?
No, hadn’t thought about it.
kathen says: You guys always manage to get your actors to have the best hair, but which hairstyle was your favourite? (I personally think Tilda Swinton’s in Burn After Reading is glorious)
Yeah, that was good. There’s one scene in a restaurant with Tilda and George; the restaurant has copper-coloured sconces that perfectly match her hair. But I think my favourite is John Turturro’s wedge in Barton Fink. Look for Barry Pepper’s hair in True Grit, hair enthusiast.
oamr9792 says: Do you have any plans to write another book of short stories to go with your films?
I’ve written a few stories, but I’ve gotten lazy; not enough to compose a book. And I probably won’t have any time soon.
Sully114 says: I was wondering why Jeff Bridges eye patch in True Grit is on the opposite eye than John Wayne’s?
(Burying head in hands) I’m stumped.
Buddy says: Do you still plan on doing an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Cuba Libre or have you already satisfied your appetite for Westerns?
Oh, we did do a script of that but it was just a writing job, many years ago when the book came out. But it wasn’t something for us to make.
|What makes Joel laugh? I’m still searching…|
Gringo says: Has there ever been a book that you’d love to see on the screen but you can’t think how to make the adaptation work?
No. That’s a strange, logically imperfect question somehow; the two novel adaptations that we’ve done we did because they struck us as promising movie material. I don’t know how a book would strike us as that and yet seem impossible to adapt into a movie.
andthorough says: What would you say your favourite piece of music is from one of your films?
Boy, I like so much of what Carter Burwell has done; every single movie of ours has been with Carter doing the underscoring. The theme from The Man Who Wasn’t There which we did with Billy Bob Thornton, I really like, and A Serious Man. Those two were original with Carter. Some movies he takes themes he or we have found and adapts them, and the score of True Grit is thematically based on four 19th century Protestant hymns. All his music is great; I actually really enjoy that part of the movie because we have so little input into it that it’s harder for us to get sick of the music than it is for other parts of the film.
Finkblot says: What will your next project be? Gambit? Old Fink? Or something previously unannounced?
Gambit was also a writing job. It seems like the movie is going to get made but not by us; it never was to have been. [As for] Old Fink, the Barton Fink sequel: John Turturro is not old enough yet. And the whole thing may be more a thought experiment than a movie. We don’t really know what we’re doing yet; we’re working on a couple of scripts.
The Power of Data Visualization website has an infographic detailing the budgets, box offices, genres, Rotten Tomato scores and Oscar noms/wins of all 14 Coen brothers movies. The most interesting thing on it, if you ask me, is that The Hudsucker Proxy scores only 59% on Rotten Tomatoes!
The Coen brothers’ debut feature, Blood Simple, is coming out on Blu-ray and coming out very soon indeed. I just stumbled upon it really and I have no information other than it comes in a Blu-ray and DVD combo set and is out in the US on August 3rd! It’s not even certain if it’s the original cut of the 2001 Director’s Cut. Also for those of us not in the US, MGM have a 50/50 record on whether they make their discs region free or not so I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know if there is any confirmation one way or the other.
Here’s an amazing little interview with Joel and Ethan Coen discussing their debut, Blood Simple, in probably 1983 or ‘84.
Their sense of humour is there and they look sooooo young, which of course they were, Joel would have been 30 and Ethan 27.
Lurking in Twitter I found a link to this, frankly awesome, collection of re-imagined Coen brothers movie posters. The designers at Poster Lab have reworked posters for Blood Simple, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Man Who Wasn’t There and No Country For Old Men. I think you’ll agree that they’re truly beautiful.
Click on the images below to see the full size posters;
I’ll keep an eye on Poster Lab and update if they do the missing movies, I really hope they do.
Just spotted this on Twitter but, for some reason, the Raindance website has made the screenplays for EVERY, and I mean EVERY, Coen brothers’ movie available for download. Now, this includes the screenplays for both A Serious Man AND their next movie, True Grit!!! You heard me right- including TRUE GRIT!
Obviously most of them are available right here on YKFK and have been for a long time however, I have gotten into a bit of legal deep water in the past for posting up scripts for forthcoming movies before which is why I have not uploaded the ones for Burn After Reading, A Serious Man and True Grit…
The Coen brothers’ latest movie, A Serious Man has been nominated for two awards at the 25th Film Independent Spirit Awards. The nominations for Joel and Ethan Coen in the Best Director category and for the ridiculously awesome, Roger Deakins in the Best Cinematography category. In addition the movie has been awarded their Robert Altman Award which is a special one awarded to just one film’s the director, casting director and its ensemble cast. The award ceremony takes place on Friday March 5th 2010.
The Coens have been successful at the Spirit Awards before. In 1997 Fargo won the awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Female Lead (Frances McDormand), Best Male Lead (William H. Macy) and Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins – told you he was awesome!). In 1986 Blood Simple was nominated for Best Picture but was beaten by Martin Scorsese’s After Hours while that movie and Blood Simple shared the gong for Best Director, M. Emmet Walsh also won the Best Male Lead award for his creepy, slimey portrayal of Loren Visser.
3. Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson), Raising Arizona
5. Tic Tac (Al Mancini), Miller’s Crossing
9. Buzz (Jim True-Frost), The Hudsucker Proxy
11. Officer Lou (Bruce Lohene), Fargo
12. Marty (Jack Keller), The Big Lebowski
14. Freddy Reidenschneider (Tony Shalhoub), The Man Who Wasn’t There
15. Gus Petch (Cedric the Entertainer), Intolerable Cruelty
16. Wheezy Joe (Irwin Keyes), Intolerable Cruelty
17. Deputy Wendell (Garret Dillahunt), No Country For Old Men
18. Gas Station Proprietor (Gene Jones), No Country For Old Men
20. Sy Abelman (Fred Melamed), A Serious Man
Nice to see a couple of entries from Intolerable Cruelty which I still think is massively underrated suffering, as it does, from the weight of Coen quality prior to it.
What do you think? Has anyone been missed? Only ONE from The Big Lebowski? I would have Knox Harrington (David Thewlis) in there right away! And no Jesus Quintana (John Turturro), surely Jesus’ part is small enough to make this list? None from The Ladykillers? Let’s talk…