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…
"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).
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…
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…
"You're a sick fuck, Fink."
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Guess the Bros had too much fun on the set of Miller's Crossing and decided to switch it up the next go'roun for this remarkably brown and white ruby. The nature of art mimicking reality is one of life's pots o' gold for me because I'm always feeling closer and am never quite there but love the trip, as I did this one. Turturro is great and John Goodman is good as always. This movie is about a picture haunting a man, so low-brow in its artistry it eludes Mr FancyPants Fink for the entire film. The theme of Hollywood not "getting it, man"; the dispassioned humility of a writer maybe losing his mind; great camera work, great mise en…
not enough buscemi
I'm not entirely sure this film isn't a prank on its audience. A riddle without a solution. HOWEVER, I love the characters and the imagery. The story. And I get something different out of it every time I see it.
This time, the line, "You're a tourist with a typewriter, Barton," struck me very hard. There's a lot going on in this movie, including this idea that Badton is pretentious, self important, and condescending. This outburst from Charlie really gets right to that.
A send-up of early Hollywood swimming in an ocean of symbolism. So much beneath the surface.
This is one of those films that I don't really know why I didn't like more than I did, but I only enjoyed this Coen brothers film intermittently, in fact some of it bored me and it seemed to move at a snails pace for much of the time. Even so there was certainly much to enjoy throughout and the end, say the last twenty minutes I thought worked very well, but as a cohesive whole it never seemed to quite work, a case of the sum of the parts being lesser than the whole. Still many of the performers were excellent, John Goodman being especially so and I very much liked the two detectives, some of their lines were…
"...Barton Fink is a well written black comedy that manages to strike a balance between nuance and absurdity that and explores ‘the life of the mind’ in an intelligent, satirical, and perfectly cynical way..."
read my full review here: wordsonfilms.com/2015/02/22/quick-reviews-the-two-faces-of-january-and-barton-fink/
Continuing to fill the gaps in my pop culture experiences, I decided to take a stab at crossing some Cohen Brothers films off the list. I started with Barton Fink as I, like anyone in the creative world, can relate to a lot of the things the film is trying to get across about art and frustration.
That being said, though, the film is so dense that I know I'll have to go back and watch it a couple of times to fully piece things together.
Barton Fink is a film that defines genre, it's a horror film, a black comedy and a drama all in one. It's atmosphere really pops and comes to life thanks to Dennis Gassner and Nancy Haigh's Art Direction as well as Roger Deakins' photograhy. There is a great variety to what is being shown on screen, it's not done all in one palette tone as it ranges from the darkness of the Hotel Earle and the brightness of Hollywood.
Barton Fink reminds me a little bit of Eraserhead, if not for John Turturro's Afro then it's because this is a film that at times is very quiet and cerebral. It does not have a lot of music in it and…
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- A Page of Madness
- Un Chien Andalou
- L'âge d'or
- Meshes of the Afternoon
A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…