Joel and Ethan Coen

Hail, Caesar!

February 9, 2016

The Film Board Gathers! The Coen Brothers are back, this time channeling the spirit of old Hollywood. Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, the studio fixer charged with keeping the studio in fine form. His big star goes missing. His big starlet gets pregnant. His young hunk can’t act, but has the voice of an angel.

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O Brother, Where Art Thou?

November 28, 2014

Joel and Ethan Coen must have a funny sense of humor, because the idea of making an “adaptation” of Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ without having read it just seems like a bad idea when I picture anyone else doing it, but with them it seems like that’s part of the joke. They put enough of the story into this film to warrant it being credited as an adaption but certainly create a world of their own within the context of the film — 1930s Mississippi. And the Coens are masters of creating worlds within their films. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish our Coen series with this fantastic 2000 film.

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The Big Lebowski

November 21, 2014

It seems appropriate to the character of the Dude that “The Big Lebowski” took its time finding its audience. Coming fresh on the heels of their first Oscar-winning hit, “Fargo,” the Coen Brothers’ 7th film had a strange sense of humor, felt disjointed, was full of swearing, and didn’t connect with audiences or critics, who were all largely left scratching their heads. But time was on the side of the movie as people continued to discover it, turning it into a much-loved cult classic — with its own annual festival even. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Coen Comedy series with 1998’s “The Big Lebowski.”

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Raising Arizona

November 14, 2014

It’s time for some laughs! Kicking off our series of Coen brother comedies, we jump in with the second film of theirs, “Raising Arizona.” Coming after “Blood Simple,” they certainly went 180 degrees with this wild comedy. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we talk about this hilarious 1987 film.

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The Hudsucker Proxy

January 3, 2014

Happy New Year! To ring in 2014, we wanted to find a tie-in to the new year so landed on 1994’s Coen brothers comedy, “The Hudsucker Proxy.” Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we delve back into the comedies from our good friends the brothers Coen and ring in 2014 with this fun film.

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No Country for Old Men

September 13, 2013

At the 2008 Oscars, Joel and Ethan Coen pulled off what only 4 other directors had done before them, walking away that night with 3 wins.  The film, of course, is “No Country for Old Men,” and they won for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Directors, and Best Picture.  Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for his chilling portrayal of hitman Anton Chigurh, which was well-deserved, and the film was nominated for 4 other Oscars.  At the time, it was their highest grossing film, and put right at the top of many critics’ best film of the year lists.  Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we conclude our Dramas of the Brothers Coen series with a conversation about “No Country for Old Men.”

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September 6, 2013

Joel and Ethan Coen may have won big at Cannes with “Barton Fink,” but it wasn’t until 1996’s “Fargo” was nominated for 7 Oscars including Best Picture, and won Best Actress (Frances McDormand) and Best Original Screenplay for the Coens that Hollywood really started believing that these guys could deliver the goods. (They did fail miserably in Hollywood with their previous effort, “The Hudsucker Proxy,” after all.) Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Drama by the Brothers Coen series with our discussion on this homespun tale of murder, “Fargo.”

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Barton Fink

August 30, 2013

“Barton Fink” was the crowning glory of the Cannes Film Festival when it premiered there in May 1991. Critics heaped their praises on it. But it never really connected with the audience and hence was a box office failure. Luckily, Joel and Ethan Coen made a film that is worth rewatching and discussing, even if it’s not completely decipherable. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Drama of the Brothers Coen series and delve into the murky, oozing depths of “Barton Fink.”

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Miller’s Crossing

August 23, 2013

For their third film, the Coen brothers decided to again make something completely different from what they’ve done before. With “Miller’s Crossing,” they made a gangster picture that honors conventions of the genre while also twisting those conventions, just as they did with “Blood Simple.” And it worked for some people while not for others (and lead to a big bomb at the box office). Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — on this week’s episode of The Next Reel as we continue our Drama by the Brothers Coen series with 1990s “Miller’s Crossing.”

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Blood Simple

August 16, 2013

“Blood Simple,” released in film festivals in 1984 and theatrically in 1985, found as many detractors as it did fans initially, but no one can argue that it was all that the filmmaking duo of Joel and Ethan Coen needed to break onto the scene as fresh, quirky and sometimes violent voices in the cinema world. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — on this week’s episode of The Next Reel as we start our Drama by the Brothers Coen series.

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