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.…
"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…
Being a big fan of most of the Coen Brothers films I've seen, I decided it's time I get on finishing their canon. Barton Fink along with Intolerable Cruelty are the last two I needed to see. I've put off the latter due to word of mouth stating it's probably their worst film along with The Ladykillers, the only film of theirs I've seen that I didn't at least like. When it comes to this film I was just waiting until I had access to it, and that access finally came in the form of Netflix streaming. Barton Fink is trademark Coens. Dark humor, satire, great performances, and it this case a pretty twisted and unsettling narrative.
Renowned New York…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Great Coen brothers dark comedy, where a writer stays at a hotel that literally turns out to be hell. Literally. And John Goodman is literally Satan.
#2 in the Coen Brothers Mystery Marathon was this movie. Actually seeing some interviews before the screening helped me to enjoy and appreciate this movie more fully. It positioned this movie as a comedy about writer's block and told us that the Coen's refused to explain the symbolism.
I feel like Ethan and Joel let their feelings about Hollywood speak plainly and clearly without any need for explanation.
A dark and infectiously whimsical classic by the Coen Brothers. John Turturro is at his best playing Barton Fink. John Goodman is phenomenal.
"You come into my home and complain that I'm making too much noise".
Make one mistake and pay with all you got.
A little too ambiguous at the end which is definitely mind boggling but overall Barton Fink is a really good movie
Every time I see this I get even more out of it. This movie is a visual poem, an amazing work of art. It talks about, well, basically, everything: writing, fear, life, death, Hell, love, loneliness. It really is a one of a kind. And, both John Turturro and John Goodman are powerhouses. See it!
#25 of my collection rewatch.
My comment on this film:
"Barton Fink is one of my favorite Coen brothers films, and it's so odd how their solution to writer's block during Miller's Crossing was to write another film. It's excellent, tense, atmospheric and enormously well done. John Turturro and John Goodman both deliver terrific performances."
An arrogant Broadway playwright comes to Hollywood in 1941 to write for the movies, and slowly loses his mind in a creepy hotel. Audacious satire and horror elements combine in this eerie, brilliant black comedy, featuring superb performances by Turturro and Goodman. Among the best from the Coen brothers; it won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, with Best Actor honors going to Turturro and Best Director to Coen.
It's taken me a long time to appreciate the Coen Brothers' unique, effortless craft; that a movie this ambitious and imaginative almost feels tossed-off speaks to their skill. I watched this on an airplane (no idea why this is currently in-flight programming on Delta) and oscillated between pure enjoyment and deep study of what was going on. It doesn't all hang together but boy, do I love John Goodman telling John Turturro "I got stories" while Turturro blathers about the common man.
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…