Oscar Isaac Talks INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, Collaborating with the Coen Brothers, Alex Garland’s EX MACHINA, William Monahan’s MOJAVE, and More

by     Posted 110 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is one of the best films of the year, Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Inside Llewyn Davis.  The story takes place in the Greenwich Village folk scene in 1961, and follows singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) as he struggles with his career and strained personal relationships.  Loaded with incredible performances, an all-star cast (featuring Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, John GoodmanGarrett HedlundF. Murray AbrahamAdam DriverStark Sands, and Max Casella), and a fantastic soundtrack (put together by T-Bone Burnett), Inside Llewyn Davis should not be missed.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the Los Angeles press day, I landed a video interview with Oscar Isaac.  He talked about what it was like working for the Coen Brothers, how he felt landing the role, what it was like performing the songs and how much changed along the way, and more.  In addition, Isaac talked about working with Alex Garland on Ex Machina and William Monahan on Mojave.  Hit the jump to watch.

HAIL CAESAR Has a “Good Chance” at Being the Coen Brothers’ Next Film; George Clooney Still Attached to Star

by     Posted 132 days ago

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The Coen Brothers‘ love making George Clooney look like a schmuck, and it appears they might be doing it again in the near future.  During a recent interview with Thompson on Hollywood, Anne Thompson asked about their comedy Hail Caesar, which they had talked about back in 2004.  According to The Playlist, the film is set to star George Clooney “as a 1920s matinee film idol who takes on Ancient Rome epic” and at one point Tim Blake Nelson was also being considered for the cast.  Joel Coen told Thompson they’ve been working on Hail Caesar, and “there’s a good chance that would be next”; Ethan Coen added that the film is “about the movie business and life and religion and faith. Faith and the movie business”.

Hit the jump for more.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Review

by     Posted 138 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 New York Film Festival.  Inside Llewyn Davis opens today in limited release.]

It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re not the protagonist of your own story—to simply exist with nowhere to go. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a man who doesn’t fit into his own life, and in the Coen Brothers’ most melancholy film to date, Inside Llewyn Davis, we’re taken on the moving journey of a folk singer trying to succeed in the right place at the wrong time. He can’t create a future from the songs of the past, and he lives ambivalently in the present. Toning down the stylized hyperrealism of their previous movies, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a work that still bears their signature, yet takes them and us to a restrained, yet tonally and emotionally frustrating place. Anchored by a subtle, touching performance from Isaac, as well as beautiful renditions of folk songs, Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber look at a wandering musician.

The Coen Brothers Say They’re Working on a Film about Ancient Rome; Could Just Be Messing with Everyone

by     Posted 142 days ago

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One of the many great things about the Coen Brothers’ is the way they limit their interviews.  They refuse to go in depth about the thematic elements of their movies or even overarching discussions about their careers.  Ambiguity gives their movies more room to breathe and invites thoughtful interpretations.  With their latest film Inside Llewyn Davis, the furthest they’ve gone is discussing the film’s inspiration (Dave Von Ronk‘s memoir The Mayor of MacDougal Street) and production aspects like selecting the appeal of the era and working on the music with frequent collaborator T-Bone Burnett.

And while the Brothers’ shooting style is steady and deliberate, they don’t take themselves too seriously. That’s why in a recent interview with the AP, they have playfully hinted they’re writing a movie about ancient Rome.  Hit the jump for more.

NYFF 2013: INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Review

by     Posted 209 days ago

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It’s a terrible thing to feel like you’re not the protagonist of your own story—to simply exist with nowhere to go. Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a man who doesn’t fit into his own life, and in the Coen Brothers’ most melancholy film to date, Inside Llewyn Davis, we’re taken on the moving journey of a folk singer trying to succeed in the right place at the wrong time. He can’t create a future from the songs of the past, and he lives ambivalently in the present. Toning down the stylized hyperrealism of their previous movies, Joel and Ethan Coen have created a work that still bears their signature, yet takes them and us to a restrained, yet tonally and emotionally frustrating place. Anchored by a subtle, touching performance from Isaac, as well as beautiful renditions of folk songs, Inside Llewyn Davis is a somber look at a wandering musician.

First Trailer for the Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Starring Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan

by     Posted 1 year, 89 days ago

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The first trailer for the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is now available.  The story centers on the titular folk singer/songwriter, played by Oscar Isaac, who struggles to find his way in New York’s Greenwich Village in the 1960s.  The trailer shows us that, although he’s not overtly a ne’er-do-well, everyone around him sure does seem to despise him quite a bit.  Llewyn’s lover Jean Berkey (Carey Mulligan) is particularly vicious while John Goodman’s character appears to be more of a curmudgeonly businessman/agent type, with some apparent health problems.

Also starring Justin Timberlake, Garret Hedlund, Adam Driver and F. Murray Abraham, Inside Llewyn Davis opens later this year.  Hit the jump to see the trailer.

The Coen Brothers to Executive Produce FARGO Series for FX

by     Posted 1 year, 210 days ago

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In March, we learned that FX and MGM Television were mulling over a potential series adaptation of Fargo.  Not only is the project a go, but Joel and Ethan Coen are on board to executive produce.  That bodes well for the translation of Fargo to the small screen.  Here’s the bad news: Deadline reports Noah Hawley will write and executive produce the hourlong drama.  Hawley most recently created My Generation, which was offensively awful and swiftly cancelled after just two episodes.  Hawley also created The Unusuals and wrote for Bones (two solid series), so hopefully My Generation was an aberration.  Warren Littlefield—another man whose last project was, damningly, My Generation—will also executive produce.

MGM TV filmed a Fargo pilot with no Coen participation in 1997 with Edie Falco in the lead role.  I doubt Falco will return, but you have to figure the wiles of the Coen brothers and FX will lure a great cast to the series.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer for Fargo.

First Look at Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake in the Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

by     Posted 2 years, 58 days ago

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We’re more than happy to report all things Coen Brothers, but I’ll admit the first photos from the set of Inside Llewyn Davis were pretty dull.  I love signage as much as the next guy, but now we’ve got some good set photos to show you.  The new images show off lead actors Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, and Justin Timberlake, and the male cast members have gone bearded.  The film is set in 1960s Greenwich folk scene, so the actors look period-appropriate.  I’m not sure why Isaac is carrying around a cat, but I’m sure the cat digs his beard.  Cats love beards almost as much as they like Internet memes.

Hit the jump to check out the set photos.  The film also stars Garrett Hedlund, Stark Sands, and John Goodman.

First Look at the Coen Brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

by     Posted 2 years, 65 days ago

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The first set photos from the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis have gone online.  The film follows a young musician (Oscar Isaac) trying to make it in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene.  Filming is underway in Manhattan and the production has sent the shooting location back to the 60s.  It’s looking good, although the Coens could just charge onto the set of Mad Men and say “Everything here is ours now.  Our Oscars trump your Emmys.”  This is a sound plan and I believe Joel and Ethan Coen should seriously consider it.

Hit the jump to check out the set photos.  The film also stars Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Garrett Hedlund, Stark Sands, and John Goodman.

Colin Firth Confirms OLDBOY Rumors; Talks About Working with Coen Brothers Dialogue in GAMBIT

by     Posted 2 years, 152 days ago

While many were skeptical about an English-language remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy when it was announced, things got interesting when Spike Lee signed on to direct. Then the director locked Josh Brolin as his star and many fans’ fears (mine included) were abased. The next question was who Lee would choose to play the incredibly nasty villain, as the crux of the movie hinges on the dichotomy between the protagonist and the antagonist. Rumors began to surface that Colin Firth, an odd yet exciting choice, had been offered the role.

There reports were unconfirmed at the time, but Steve recently sat down with Firth to talk about the upcoming spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and he confirmed that he’s been approached about the role but no decisions have been made just yet. In addition, the actor talked about his recently wrapped remake of the 1966 caper comedy Gambit. The film also stars Cameron Diaz and Stanely Tucci, and was written by Joel and Ethan Coen. Hit the jump to check out the interview.

Carey Mulligan Talks THE GREAT GATSBY; Geeks Out Over Working with Coen Brothers, Spike Jonze, and Charlie Kaufman

by     Posted 2 years, 179 days ago

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British actress Carey Mulligan is certainly on an enviable role. Fresh off of critical acclaim for Drive, she has the haunting NC-17 drama Shame out in December, and she’s currently filming Baz Luhrmann’s 3D adaptation of The Great Gatsby in Australia. Once done there, she’s not slowing down any, as she will start shooting Inside Llewyn Davis (a musician trying to make it in the 1960′s New York folk scene) for the Coen brothers, and then do the new untitled Spike Jonze project from a Charlie Kaufman screenplay that reportedly centers on world leaders who unite to discuss cataclysmic events such as oil prices and wars.

While she was in L.A. recently, Collider got the opportunity to speak with Mulligan about her current and upcoming projects, how outrageously lucky she feels about working with such incredible talent, in front of and behind the camera, how extraordinary it is to be in a Baz Luhrmann film, her audition with Gatsby star Leonardo DiCaprio, how the Coen brothers are her favorite filmmakers and that she can’t believe she gets to be one of their characters, and that she couldn’t refuse the opportunity to work with Spike Jonze. Check out what she had to say after the jump:

The Coen Brothers to Produce Private Eye Comedy Series HARVEKARBO at Fox with Phil Johnston

by     Posted 2 years, 201 days ago

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The Coen brothers have signed on to executive produce HarveKarbo, a potential series they co-created with Phil Johnston (Cedar Rapids).  THR describes the premise: “[HarveKarbo] revolves around a touchy Los Angeles private investigator — and his deadbeat friends in El Segundo — whose cases frequently force him to cross paths with a who’s who of Hollywood.”  Imagine TV is shepherding the project through development with 20th Century Fox Television; Imagine head Brian Grazer is the man credited enticing the endlessly lauded brothers to a smaller screen.

While the last few years have seen respected filmmakers like Frank Darabont (The Walking Dead) and Diablo Cody (The United States of Tara) dive head on into a TV schedule, the Coens likely have no interest in keeping up with the daily demand of a broadcast series.  Instead, expect the J.J. Abrams model: get the show off the ground, then hand the reins to a collaborator—in this case, Johnston.  Even such speculation is getting ahead of ourselves.  Fox has awarded the hourlong single-camera comedy a script commitment, but HarveKarbo has a long road through the competitive pilot season before any potential series order.  That said, it would be pretty cool to see “Executive Produced by Joel and Ethan Cohen” in a credits sequence every week.

New Coen Brothers Movie Titled INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS; Scott Rudin to Produce

by     Posted 2 years, 235 days ago

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After dishing out a new film every year for the past year, 2011 will be Coen-less.  But that doesn’t mean the Oscar-winning brothers aren’t at work on their next project.  As we reported over the summer, Joel and Ethan Coen are working on a “music-intensive” project and that the film would be “loosely based one of the 1960s Greenwich Valley folk scene’s most revered names: Dave Van Ronk.”  Variety now reports that the film will be entitled Inside Llewyn Davis and “centers around Llewyn Davis’ struggles as a folk musician during the genre’s 1960s heyday in New York City.”  That pretty much follows what we had heard thus far and it sounds pretty great.  The Coens have heavily used bluegrass (O Brother, Where Are Thou?) and gospel (The Ladykillers) in the past and I can’t wait to see what they do with folk music.

On a related note, the Coen Brothers will reteam with producer Scott Rudin while Studio Canal will co-finance and handle international sales for the flick.  Rudin previously worked with the Coens on No Country for Old Men and True Grit and that worked out pretty well.  Now that there’s financing, hopefully this film will speed into production and we can get our next Coen film by 2012.

Cinematographer Roger Deakins Interview; Talks TRUE GRIT, Coen Brothers, Digital vs. Film, Says He’s Probably Shooting BOND 23

by     Posted 3 years, 73 days ago

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One of my favorite cinematographers is Roger Deakins.  If you look over his amazing resume, you’ll see he’s shot so many memorable films, you’d be hard pressed to have not seen at least a few of them.  Some of the standouts include The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski, The Shawshank Redemption, and True Grit. As you may have noticed by the titles I just listed, Deakins has a very close relationship with the Coen Brothers, as he shoots most of their movies.

The other day I got to do an exclusive phone interview with Deakins and we talked about a wide range of subjects: what kinds of cameras and lenses he likes to use, his relationship with the Coen brothers and how they work together, making True Grit, digital vs. film, his next movie Now which he shot digitally with the Arriflex Alexa (his first time using digital), his relationship with DreamWorks and his involvement on How to Train Your Dragon and the upcoming sequel, 3D, and when I asked him about what’s coming up next, he said, “I’ll probably do a film with Sam Mendes next.”  When I asked him if that meant he was shooting Bond 23, he said, “it might, yeah.”

If you’re interested in cinematography, or just a fan of Deakins work, hit the jump to either read or listen to our conversation:

Barry Pepper Exclusive Interview TRUE GRIT; Plus an Update on Terrence Malick’s Next Movie

by     Posted 3 years, 108 days ago

If you’ve seen the Coen Brothers awesome movie True Grit, then you saw Barry Pepper’s great work as Lucky Ned Pepper towards the end of the film.  However, if you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil anything in this intro other than saying True Grit is a fantastic movie and Pepper literally disappears in the role.  Of course, as a fan of this very talented actor, this didn’t surprise me as he’s been doing great work for years.  Check out his full resume.

Anyway, before True Grit got released, I sat down with Pepper for an exclusive interview.  While I usually like to post interviews before a movie gets released, I decided to save this one till after it had been playing for a little while.  During the interview he talked about how he got involved in the movie, what it was like to work with the amazing cast, and the Coen Brothers.  In addition, Pepper recently wrapped on Terrence Malick’s next movie (which stars Ben Affleck) and he told me how he got cast and how he never read a script.  He also said that he still doesn’t know what the movie is about and described the unusual way Malick worked.  If you’re a fan of either the Coen Brothers or Terrence Malick, hit the jump to either read or listen to some great stories:

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