6 items from 2014
Always the bridesmaid and never the bride, cinematographer Roger Deakins is one of the greatest working DPs today, having earned 11 Oscar nominations and never won. He’s like the Susan Lucci of the technical categories.
But he got that way because for years he’s been consistently collaborating with the Coen Brothers on some of their most iconic films, everything from Fargo to O Brother Where Art Thou, The Man Who Wasn’t There, True Grit, The Big Lebowski, Barton Fink and No Country for Old Men. The man is a master, most recently making sinister, wintery chills in last year’s Prisoners.
Thanks to Blag Films, you can now see a short supercut of some of Deakins’ finest shots among his collaboration with the Coens (with the unfortunate exception of The Ladykillers and The Hudsucker Proxy). While only limiting it to Coens films eliminates the chance to see some »
- Brian Welk
Steven Spielberg last directed the Oscar-winning "Lincoln," which is why everyone is wondering what the helmer will take on next. One of the many projects he set up for himself is an untitled Cold War thriller that has Tom Hanks attached to star. The project has been in the works for some time, but just took a turn in a very interesting direction. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the script will be re-written by the Coen brothers, who won Oscars for "No Country for Old Me" and "Fargo." Hanks previously worked with the Coen brothers on "The Ladykillers" and with Spielberg on "Saving Private Ryan," "The Terminal," and "Catch Me If You Can." The Cold War thriller tells the true story of James Donovan, an attorney who was thrust into the center of the Cold War when he negotiated with the Kgb for the release of downed U-2 spy plane pilot Gary Powers. »
In news that should please any single person who has ever walked into a movie theater, Joel and Ethan Coen are on board to write a draft of an upcoming film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. The draft will be for an untitled Cold War thriller that would star Hanks as James Donovan, an attorney who helped with the rescue of a downed fighter pilot during the 1960s. While initial reports said that British playwright Matt Charman (the upcoming adaptation of Suite Française) was writing the screenplay, the Coen brothers are reported to be working on a draft at the moment.
Spielberg has been circling a number of projects for a while, from the sci-fi adaptation of Robopocalypse to the fantasy adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Bfg. With the involvement of cinema’s most beloved writing and directing team, this Cold War project should gain some momentum. »
- Jordan Adler
In his 30-year career as a composer, Carter Burwell’s film scores have run the veritable cinematic gamut. From composing for Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Where the Wild Things Are) to his work being the best parts of the Twilight saga, Burwell’s résumé is sporadic and unconventional, even for a man who makes film music for a living — it’s fitting, given his less-than-conventional roots as a cartoonist for The Harvard Lampoon and later as a vagrant New York punk rocker. Undoubtedly, Burwell’s become best known for the his collaborations with Joel and Ethan Coen. Last week, Sound on Sight ranked the films of the Coen Brothers, so what better way to take over The Big Score than with a similarly themed meditation on their work with Burwell? As much as the Coens’ filmography is defined by their trademark cynicism and wit, Burwell’s compositions are »
- David Klein
With Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest – Inside Llewyn Davis – due out today, I’ve returned to the filmography of the two enigmatic brothers, and a Masters of Cinema book dedicated to them. The author of said book is Ian Nathan, executive editor of Empire Magazine, author of Terminator Vault (2013) and Alien Vault (2011), and a contributor to numerous publications including The Times and The Independent. Sharing his thoughts on the process of writing the book, and his own exploration of the tricksy Coen brothers, here is what Mr. Nathan had to say:
Piers McCarthy: How easy was it to balance the research and writing of this book with your work at Empire Magazine?
Ian Nathan: This is always tricky in terms of sheer workload. Books are just hard work, and soak up your time. »
- Gary Collinson
Outside of Martin Scorsese, there are very few clean slates in Hollywood – and even He has Bringing Out The Dead blotting his copybook (discuss…). The Coen brothers though, have created an unbroken conga-line of stunningly original movies, mixing and mastering genres, and even creating new ones.
If there was a bump in the road in 1994 time, it seems, has since been kind to The Hudsucker Proxy. A bigger budget (courtesy of ’80s alpha-producer Joel Silver) and an initially unresponsive family audience had it labelled as the Coen’s first flop, but watched now its pleasures are myriad and unmistakably Coenesque (including a great, late-vintage performance from Paul Newman).
The Coens announced themselves to the world in 1984 with the instant neo-noir classic, Blood Simple. Now, just mull the following subsequent film titles over in your mind like a mouthful of Chateau Petrus. Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, »
- Cai Ross
6 items from 2014
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