Wednesday, August 01, 2012

August Videos--Early Coen Brothers Classics

Blood Simple, starring John Getz, Frances McDormand and Dan Hedaya. Written by Joel and Ethan Coen.  Directed by Joel Coen. 1984. Library Call Number: PN1995.9.M87B67 2001.
    A jealous saloon owner hires a private eye to find out who his wife is sleeping with, then wants the detective to kill them both.  But the detective has his own agenda.  Most of the deadly sins are represented here in fine Coen Brothers style.  Especially good are the scenes in the detective's car and the problems of burying a body for all the wrong reasons.

Raising Arizona, starring Nicholas Cage, Holly Hunter and John Goodman. Written by the Coens. Dir. by Joel Coen. 1987. Call Number: PN1995.5.C35R55 2002.
     Policewoman Edwina falls for chronic convenience store robber Hi while taking his mug shots.  They marry and settle into an Arizona trailer, but their family can’t be complete without a baby.  When told Edwina is unable to conceive, they decide to steal one of a millionaire’s new quintuplets.  But Hi’s co-worker, a visit from two brothers he knew in prison, and an apocalyptic bounty hunter tracking the baby complicate matters in this goofy and hilarious film.
Miller’s Crossing, starring Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, Albert Finney and John Turturro. 1990.  Library Call Number: PN1995.9.G3 M55 2003
   The Coen’s gangster movie, tells the story of two warring gangs and the right-hand man of the Irish Godfather, in love with the Godfather’s girlfriend, protecting her no-good brother, and trying to keep the Italians out of their territory.  Refined double and triple-crosses with Gabriel Byrne as the smart guy, Finney as the Irish gangster chieftain, Harden as the girlfriend  and J.E. Freeman as a great, sinister hit man called the Dane.
Barton Fink, starring John Turturro and John Goodman. 1991.
Call Number: PN1995.9.A84B37 2003.
            A self-important writer moves from Broadway to Hollywood, where he’s given the assignment of writing a wrestling picture in a small room in a fleabag hotel.  Immediately he begins suffering writer’s block, made even worse by his intrusive neighbor next door, a jovial salesman who brushes aside the writer’s rudeness and won’t let him alone.  Darkly funny and moving from comedy to violent weirdness, this is quintessential Coen.

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