News: George Clooney to Direct Coen Bros Crime Noir Drama ‘Suburbicon’

Mike Fleming Jr over at Deadline is reporting a new film in the works with George Clooney directing a Coen Brothers’ noir set in the 1950’s. Read the full news report below:

http://deadline.com/2015/10/suburbicon-george-clooney-joel-coen-ethan-coen-crime-noir-tristarjoel-silver-1201592606/

Joel And Ethan Coen To Adapt & Direct Ross MacDonald Novel ‘Black Money’ For Warner Bros

Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer is coming back to the silver screen and Joel and Ethan Coen are involved. This sounds like a match made in noir heaven!

Deadline

EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros has optioned the bestselling 1966 Ross MacDonald crime novel Black Money for Joel and Ethan Coen to write and potentially direct. The film will be produced by Joel Silver, who also will co-finance with Warner Bros via Silver Pictures Entertainment. Steve White will be executive producer. The novel focuses on MacDonald’s private eye protagonist Lew Archer. Hired by a spurned lover to expose the suave Frenchman who has run off with his client’s girlfriend, Archer follows a trail that leads to a deep conspiracy as the mysterious paramour is connected to a seven-year-old suicide and a ton of gambling debts.

Apple Store Soho Presents Meet The Filmmakers: Joel Coen And Ethan Coen, "Inside Llewyn Davis"MacDonald died in 1983, and this is one of the prolific writer’s most famed novels.

Warner Bros’ Creative Development and Worldwide Production president Greg Silverman spearheaded this for the studio, and it’s as intriguing a match between auteurs and a beloved book, as was Paul Thomas Anderson when…

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Review: Barton Fink

Even though I’m a big fan of the Coen Brothers, this is the first time I’ve ever watched this.  I guess the story never really appealed to me, but I always knew I would get around to watching this sooner or later.  This kept popping up on lists of neo-noir films, so I thought it was about time to watch it and give it a review on here.  Would this hold up to my Coen Brothers favorites like Fargo, Blood Simple, The Man Who Wasn’t There and Miller’s Crossing?  This was actually written when Joel and Ethan Coen had writers block while writing Miller’s Crossing.  I recently reviewed this often overlooked classic here:

https://everythingnoir.com/2015/02/15/re-watching-the-classics-a-fresh-look-at-millers-crossing/

Our story is about Barton Fink, played by John Turturro, a writer from New York who soon finds himself in Los Angles to be part of the Hollywood machine.  He check’s into a hotel where he meets his neighbor Charlie Meadows, played by John Goodman.  Fink is hired to write a script for a wrestling film and he has some writers block.  We meet a wide range of Hollywood types throughout the film.  It is a wild ride, but to be honest we don’t get into the noir part of this film until the second half and though we get a bit of a twist, its pretty minor.

On thing I noticed watching this, is the list of amazing actors in this film.  The other is we get no matinée idols here, just a cast of great performers who are their based on their talent and not on their looks.  This is something we don’t see very often.  Some of the actors we see here are Michael Lerner,John Mahoney,Tony Shalhoub, Jon Polito and Steve Buscemi.

This film has a lot of hidden meaning and almost feels more like a David Lynch film then a Coen Brothers film.  For instance the theory that the hotel is actually hell.  Keep that in mind next time you watch it and see what you think.  The ending also made me feel like something out of a Lynch film as well.

Even though it isn’t a pure neo-noir film like some of Coen Brother’s other films, it is a very good film.  The Coen’s make the hotel and old Hollywood look great, the story is interesting(you wonder how much of this film comes out of the Coen’s frustration with the Hollywood system), and it is a thinking man’s movie.  If you are new to Coen Brothers films, I would start with the four films I listed earlier.  If you already have seen most everything from these guys but haven’t seen this yet, you should give it a try.

Favorite Tidbit: John Mahoney’s character is based on William Faulkner.  Faulkner’s first work in Hollywood was for a wrestling movie.  Barton Fink was based on Clifford Odets, a screen writer in Hollywood in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  He wrote screenplays for some great films including everythingnoir.com’s favorites Deadline at Dawn and Sweet Smell of Success, as well as a few other great noir films we will look at.

Re-watching the Classics: A Fresh Look at Miller’s Crossing

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Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, the Coen Brothers, neo noir legends that have made so many classic modern noir films it’s hard to pick a favorite.  This is not me picking my favorite of Coen Brothers film, this is me reviewing the one I think is the most underrated.  After their debut Blood Simple and before the Oscar-winning Fargo, both classics, they made a small movie called Miller’s Crossing.  The Coen’s used a mishmash of noir legend Dashiell Hammett books to write this story.

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Gabriel Byrne plays our hero, a gangster with a gambling problem.  He’s the right hand man of the boss played by Albert Finney.  Both of them are in love with our femme fatale Verna, played by Marcia Gay Harden.  The plot is further complicated by Verna’s brother, played by John Turturro, who is always in trouble and Verna is using anybody and everybody to protect him.  A boxing match is being fixed by competing gangster Johnny Casper played by Joe Polito, but somebody is leaking the information.  We see cameo’s by Steve Buscemi and Frances McDormand, Coen Brother favorites, and a cool cameo from director Sam Raimi.  J.E. Freeman as the Dane and Mike Starr as Frankie play great heavies.

This story is full of plot twists you don’t see coming in classic noir style.  It takes place in the late 1920’s maybe early 1930’s, we have corrupt cops, back stabbing gangsters, gamblers, murder, great dialog, and sets.  If you like the Coen Brothers and have not seen this movie it, do it!  Great film worth a viewing.