Directed by Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
I’d prefer a more highbrow formulation: The Coens take found objects and arrange them for maximum disjunction. At first, those found objects were movie conventions.
Joel and Ethan Coen • Senses of Cinema
Notice how the Coens have again and again translated ideas into cinema: a schoolboy’s eyes, horn-rimmed in Barton’s case, the enslaving of the writers, Barton's room closing in on him, his hang-up with sex hung on the wall, and so on. Also, with Mayhew, the Coens have filled out their customary oedipal pattern. We have a panel of fathers. There is bombastic Lipnick, tyrannical and unpredictable. There is rapid-fire Geisler, knowing and unhelpful. And there is Mayhew, the picture of Southern gentry and writerly wisdom, ruined, violent, and helpless. Balancing them all is a strong woman, Audrey. As for Charlie, he could be a brother, but at the film’s turning point, he becomes a helpful father—and then a dangerous one.
In an interview with the French critic Michel Ciment, the brothers said:
Joel: Some people have suggested the whole second part of the movie is only a nightmare. It certainly wasn’t our intention to make it a literal bad dream, but it’s true that we wanted an irrational logic. We wanted the climate of the movie to reflect the psychological state of its hero.Ethan: We wanted the audience to share the interior life of Barton Fink, and his point of view (99).
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Desalm, Brigitte. “Barton Fink.” Joel & Ethan Coen. Ed. Peter Körte and Seesslen, George. Trans. Rory Mulholland. New York: Limelight Editions, 2001. 115-40.
A serious man coen brothers analysis essay - …
Michel Ciment and Hubert Niogret. “The Rock on the Beach.” Joel & Ethan Coen: Blood Siblings. Ed. Paul A. Woods. Trans. Paul Buck and Catherine Petit. London: Plexus, 2003. 97-103.
Watch: A Video Essay on the Coen Brothers’ Search for Truth
Barton Fink is a marvelous ploy. It richly deserves the Palme D’Or this film won in 1991 along with the awards for Best Director and Best Actor, a rare triple crown that shot the Coens into the pantheon of major directors who speak for a confusing and brutal world.
Watch: A Video Essay on the Coen Brothers' Search for Truth
The serious, intense film represents somewhat of a change for the Coens, who earned a reputation for quirky humor and snappy visuals in Blood Simple and Raising Arizona.
Joel and Ethan Coen were born three years apart in St
While Cain's paradigmatic noir stories were about the desire to make a wish come true and the price paid when it does, the protagonist in the Coens' new film is notable for his absence of ego and for the overriding sense that he wants nothing." [Art Index]
The Coen Canon: video essay about Coen brothers by …
However, although there are a number of connections in the film to Cain's novels, in making the protagonist passive and asexual, the Coens' have moved away from typical Cain adaptations.