Hot Damn! The Coen Boys are Back in Town


Greetings and salutations* film nerds and nerdettes, haven’t you wondered what in the hell happened to the Coen Brothers? If the reports from Cannes are correct; now we know. They’ve been preparing to drop a Sam Peckinpah inspired serio-comic thriller, No Country For Old Men on grateful cinephiles who’ve been jonesin’ for a hit of their singularly original brand of genre filmmaking for years. 

That’s one long dry spell fellas but we’ll forgive you because after two Intolerably Cruel Stinkers, indie Gods Joel and Ethan Coen (Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski) have returned with a bloody vengeance to plow the rich Texas soil around their gritty Blood Simple roots. A screen adaptation of the novel by Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men looks to be a long-overdue shotgun blast of Coen Auteur filmmaking that exploits the serio-comedic thriller genre to examine, among other things, the new violence that’s permeated the cinematic universe the last decade, or three (hello 300!)

courtesy of Paramount Vantage

With a noir teaming of Tommy Lee Jones as a bone-tired Texas sheriff on the trail of millions in stolen pesos, a psychotic hit man, Javier Bardem, and cinematographer Roger Deakins (a bad ass legend with the lens), you cannot go wrong even if you had to watch it blindfolded and in French.

The picture hasn’t premiered in the States yet so give the Coen’s time, they’re Old Men and it’s a long boat ride back from Cannes. While you twiddle your thumbs, if your appetite is whetted for a blackened batch of Texas noir road movies, I suggest you check out John Sayles’ classic Lonestar, Peckinpah’s hard-as-nails Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia or Wim Wenders’ profound Paris, Texas starring a damn fine indie actor Harry Dean Stanton.

Until next week, this is Poppa H signing off. Be bad and get into trouble baby*.

Film Happenings Round Town

•    Thursday (5/31) – Double Feature at the Castro Theatre
•    Play Misty For Me (1971): Dir. Siegel - Eastwood delves into Hitchcock territory with his directorial debut about a late night DJ stalked by a female listener. Set in Carmel, Jessica Walter shines as the stalker and director Siegel has a small role as Murphy the bartender.
•    Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) Dir. Cimino – After a kick ass rewrite of the Magnum Force script, Eastwood gave Michael Cimino his first shot. Jeff Bridges snags his second Oscar nomination as Clint’s young sidekick.

Volume 14 Footnotes
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater (channeling Jack Nicholson) to Winona Ryder.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.

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