Follow a week in the life of a young folk singer as he navigates the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961. Guitar in tow, huddled against the unforgiving New York winter, he is struggling to make it as a musician against seemingly insurmountable obstacles -- some of them of his own making. Written by
The folk singer Dave Van Ronk, who was an inspiration for some of the movie's characters and story, released a 1963 album called "Inside Dave Van Ronk." Its cover was a photo of Van Ronk and a cat standing in a doorway. On the "Fresh Air" NPR interview program, host Terry Gross asked the Coens if that was their inspiration for having a cat in the movie, and they said that not only was it not, but also that they hadn't even noticed the cat on the Van Ronk album cover until they'd completed shooting. and an art director pointed out the coincidence during post-production. See more »
Near the end of the movie, Llweyn walks past a movie theater and the billboard shows a poster of The Incredible Journey. The movie wasn't released until 1963. See more »
Do you ever think of the future at all?
The future? You mean like flying cars? Hotels on the moon? Tang?
See more »
At the end of the credits is an image declaring the film "Kosher for Passover" See more »
Inside Llewyn Davis is a hard film to quantify. It is very much a Coen Brothers movie, and it is very much its own thing. I did not know the history of the story. I did not know the story behind the Gaslight club in New York nor did I know of the famous figure who started at the bar back in 1961 when the film takes place. I found out after the film was over. However, not knowing that, I still thought this was an incredible movie.
There are oddly poetic scenes in the film. There is a scene where the main character Llewyn Davis hits a cat with his car. As he watches the cat limp away into the darkness injured, I felt that it was an interesting image that seemed to mirror Llewyn's life in the film. Although I was aware of the poetic aspect of the film, I did not feel that they were forced moments. In interviews the Coen Brothers always seem to play dumb. In an interview for this film the Coen Brothers talked about the cat in the movie, and how they didn't know what to do with the story, so they threw in a cat. Anybody who has seen a Coen Brothers movie can appreciate that this is far from the truth. Every moment and image seems to be very specifically placed, and that was the case for this movie as well.
You can't judge this movie the same way you would judge every other film this year. It's almost as if the Coen Brothers have their own language that they are speaking, that the audience does not fully understand. We catch some things, and even with those few moments, I was mesmerized. Sometimes I really notice their style like in their film A Serious Man, and I find myself confused and bored, but this film felt very true to me. I sympathized with the main character and his struggles, perhaps because I consider myself a creative person as well, so I know how hard it is. At one point Llewyn says, "I'm just so f-ing tired," this line says a lot more than just I want to sleep. It is something we can all relate to, a feeling of just wanting to give up, and in this way, the story is a universal one, but then again it's the Coen Brothers, so automatically I know some people might not like it, but I loved it.
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