Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
There's only one thing stranger than what's going on inside his head. What's going on outside.
A renowned New York playwright is enticed to California to write for the movies and discovers the hellish truth of Hollywood.
If the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a portrait of the artist as eternal wanderer, then their "Barton Fink" is a portrait of the artist as eternally distracted. It is, that is, until it becomes an indictment of soulless, brainless Hollywood product that then turns turns into a Faustian Los Angeles-is-hell allegory before returning to its meditation on the artist. To be sure, "Barton Fink" has a lot on its narrative plate. Although that mix of ideas, metaphors, symbols, and plot threads can be a little much, the film is an engrossing and inspired piece of work.
Barton Fink is a New York playwright who heeds the siren song of movie-writing and moves to Hollywood. "Barton Fink" is his…
Barton Fink is packed full of symbolism, allegory, and open-ended questions. About one man's struggles as a screenwriter in Hollywood, the film is at once realism and surrealism; comedy and tragedy. Willing you to discern meaning behind images and lines, Joel and Ethan Coen tease the viewer with a multitude of possible interpretations of their story and its characters. Littered with references to other films, novels, and poems, the viewing experience is overwhelming but rewarding.
With exhilarating performances from John Turturro, John Goodman, Michael Lerner, and Judy Davis, this is very much a character driven piece. Exploring the "life of the mind" from different angles, we are introduced to a variety of characters, each with their own issues and secrets.…
Barton Fink is no less than a directorial masterpiece. You can say what you will about the characters, even about the story itself, but there is no denying that it is masterfully executed in the way that only the Coens could manage. What struck me most is their skillfulness showing action off screen or behind a wall and give their audience just enough visual clues to leave them jumping with anticipation (the best example in their filmography is the hotel door scene in No Country for Old Men.) This works so very subtly and so very well in countless scenes. Consider, if you will, the box that John Goodman's character gives Barton. We can only help but wonder, what's inside…
Ingeniously written and directed by the Coen Brothers, Barton Fink is set in 1941, initially in New York. It follows the playwright who is filled with social concerns, Barton Fink, who was a big hit on Broadway and immediately calls the attention of Tinseltown. Hired by Hollywood to write a wrestling film, Barton swaps the pollution of the city for the stardom of the movies.
When Federico Fellini had no idea on what to do with his next film, he created 8½, which portrayed an out-of-ideas director who didn't know what to do with his next film. When the Coen Brothers had no idea on what to do with their next film, they created Barton Fink, which portrays an out-of-ideas…
"You're just a tourist with a typewriter. I live here."
Easy Barton Fink primer:
A self-absorbed NYC playwright lauds the virtue of the common man all while remaining deaf to others; his lack of empathy lands him in a Hollywood hell.
With hints of an allegory about US isolationist policies (and some nasty business with fluids).
It has been almost twenty years since I saw Barton Fink. Back then in my early twenties I obviously missed something. I seem to remember it leaving me a little muddled and confused, and with this film coming fairly soon after my favorite Coen's film, Miller's Crossing, I was a little underwhelmed. I'd like to think my tastes have matured a bit since then and as I listed my Coen Brothers ranking last night, I was surprised at the reaction to my low rating for this. Rewatches especially after a long time can be beneficial, so imagine my surprise when I awoke after night-shift to find this just starting on Sky Movies.
While still not as appreciated as Miller's Crossing…
Enigmatic and unsettling collage of allegories.
Barton Fink is an unqualified success, rich in symbolism and depth. It is one of the masterpieces of the Coen brothers filmography, and one of the best films about Hollywood, and the creative process in general that's ever been made.
All of the elements that make up the Coen brothers style are in full force in this film. Miller's Crossing might have been their first great film, but Barton Fink surpasses even that both in terms of story and characters. The script in this film is filled with allusions and references to other literary titans as varied as Dante to William Faulkner. The film has just as much depth as a David Lynch film, but is far more accessible to…
$9 mil. Maybe it’s because of Llewyn Davis, but I had a tricky time connecting to this particular Coen outing. It hardly bears saying that it’s a hilarious, ferocious comedy of anxiety, somewhere between Eraserhead and Woody Allen. The screenplay is totally unpredictable, going into some very strange places and good for the Coen brothers for having the balls to do it. John Tutturo plays a Clifford Odets stand-in, a nebbishy playwright who comes to Hollywood and gets caught up in a murder case. John Goodman plays, as he often seems to in Coen movies, the devil. All the actors are excellent. The cinematography alternates between the deep, nourish seediness of the hotel and bright, sunwashed exteriors. Great use of…
Barton Fink is a beautifully shot film with some really stunning audio and visual moments that convey such a palpable sensation you almost feel like you are inside the movie with the characters. Also, when it holds to the story of a Broadway/Hollywood writer who believes he can understand the common man but actually refuses to listen, I am completely on board for the that movie. Sadly, it doesn't hold to that simple story. It is overloaded with symbolic gobbledygook that makes this movie nearly intolerable for me. I don't like when I have to do homework and analyze a film in order to fathom the writers' intentions, in fact I hate it. Some slight symbolism that might add some…
I like the Coens but this movie didn't do as much for me as other movies. It's weird, offbeat, strange, and kind of funny, but it's also so weird, so strange, so offbeat, and basically a visual metaphor. I spent a little time online to try and understand the movie a little better, there's definitely a descent into madness theme, and the glamor of Hollywood being wiped away, that things/people aren't always what they seem, and a little bit of loss of purpose, that individuality isn't important. I can see how it can be a critique of Hollywood in general. But I'm not sure if it connected to me much at all. I thought it was interesting and completed watching the film, but it wasn't emotional, connecting personal, and not even that entertaining.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
By far my favorite Ethan and Joel Coen movie (possibly 2 of the finest dark comedy filmmakers ever). This movie will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. It's full of amazing allegory, great performances made by the actors, and an ambiguous ending (you have to decide). If you want to be entertained, watch this movie. I promise you'll love it!
if you dislike the Coens please rethink your life choices
A gem of a Coen Brothers film I have only just discovered; 'Barton Fink' is a charming, witty and surreal comedy, restoring my faith after 'The Hudsucker Proxy'.
With Stacey and I entranced, and Andrea fast asleep, I was delighted and spellbound by the grimy, surreal nature of the creative process. With only having watched 'Naked Lunch' recently, it is a perfect foil, being a little straighter down the line, but still with some strong sexual imagery. The constant peeling of the wallpaper is visceral, the almost ejaculate looking paste dribbling down.
With a John Turturro playing a superb tightly wound Woody Allen parody, the perfect foil is of course John Goodman. And as always, Goodman steals the show. A friendly, amiable sort of fellow, with a dark streak a mile wide. The latter portion of the film is a commanding performance of both humour and malevolence.
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…