What To Watch Thursday: Coen brothers

What To Watch Thursday: Coen brothers

Dec 5, 2013 |  by  |  Art, Event
About the author
Born and raised in this amazing city, Steven (25) remembers quite vividly the first film that as a young boy got him addicted to cinema: The Neverending Story. And it really is a never-ending story, his grand film study has gone on ever since. Since then his taste has extended beyond such a fantasy coming-of-age film and will now guide you to what to see and what to skip.

What To Watch Thursday is Overdose’s weekly film injection: every Thursday we will tell you which cinematographic pearls can’t be missed! This week, it’s all about the kids.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Anticipation: Much like Woody Allen, Joel and Ethan Coen have had a steady output of films: a new one about every two years. Unlike Woody, however, they keep delivering cinematic gems. Truthfully, on occasion they can be overly quirky, but this one sure hits the mark.

Appreciation: There really is little I have to say to make you want to see this effortlessly entertaining new tragicomedy. Set in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, this is the story of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as a fictional acoustic artist who’s trying to make it, but doesn’t quite seem to get there. The character and storyline are loosely based on the life (and the 2005 memoirs) of the late singer Dave Van Ronk. When we set out on Llewyn’s quest to become famous, we soon figure out that – despite his amazing voice and bigger-than-life attitude – people don’t exactly fall for his charm. This film can be a little gloomy, however, it’s irresistibly funny and musical (there’s a great cameo by a slightly queer Justin Timberlake). Admittedly, this is not the Coens on greatest form, but even in a film where they try and do very little it turns out to be another well-crafted, comical and unique piece of cinema.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Length: 105 min.
Verdict: ★★★★ – Coens in leisure mode: they do it amazingly well.
Where to see: Kriterion, Pathe City, Pathe Tuschinski, Eye, The Movies and Cinecenter.

Blood Simple.

Anticipation: This is the Coen brothers’ first feature and when they arrived on the scene with this stylistic neo-noir it met with much critical acclaim: a great sign of what was to come. Years later the renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou remade it as A Simple Noodle Story (2009), a sign perhaps that Blood Simple is anything but forgotten.

Appreciation: Blood Simple is a blood-soaked story, where Julian Marty (Dan Hedaya), the owner of a Texas saloon, hires a private investigator in order to prove that his wife Abby (Frances McDormand) is cheating on him. When finally the affair is brought to light what unfolds is a bleak story of sleazy and greedy people that will make your head spin. The title refers to ‘a fearful mindset of people after a prolonged immersion in violent situations’ and it was taken from the 1929 novel Red Harvest. And clearly with this 1984 film the Coen brother emerged on the scene exploring thematics to which they would return over and over: blood feuds are anything but simple.

Blood Simple

Length: 95 min.
Verdict: ★★★★ – With this bleak, clever and well-crafted film noir the Coens swung for the fences.
Where to see: Watch this film Friday December 6th in EYE 21.00. (Saturday 7th EYE also screens O Brother, Where Art Thou? at 21.30)

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