Sunday, 6 March 2016

Hail, the Coens!

I think it goes without saying, I love the Coen Brothers and I like to think I know about them too. I even wrote my disertation about violence anf genre twisting in their films for University. Having to research about two directors/writers work for an entire years has got to mean I like their work. So again, it goes without saying I've been extremely excited about Hail Caesar!

I remember reading about the film years ago, back when Burn After Reading was out. The original script was said to be about a theatre troupe in the 1930s who put on a production of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Then A Serious Man arrived and I was thrilled to see it at the BFI Film Festival. Like a 'fan girl' I squealed with joy as I was literally a few feet away from, I have the photo to prove it. Then the story died down about Hail Caesar! and True Grit was made. I actually saw that film three times at the cinema. More rumours about Hail Caesar! circulated and there was a story change but the one consistant was that George Clooney was involved. Then Inside Llewyn Davis came out featuring quite a few actors that hadn't appeared in Coen Brother films before. I got to see this film at the festival too, premiere night, 2nd row. Again, I was in heaven. Then finally a trailer appeared for Hail Caesar! and it was everything I had hoped it would be.

I won't go into too much details about Hail Caesar! as I will include it in my Watch List this month but I will say is a brilliant film. At first I was surprised at how much attention the film has been given. Usually the Coen's films gain interest from the faithful cinephiles and Coen fans and those 'in the know'. But Hail Caesar! has got everyone saying they want to the film. I think its due to the appearence of Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson that has given the film it's push, as well has having a star studded film. Burn After Reading also boasted a star studded cast but again Hail Caesar has the edge but setting itself in 50s Hollywood, the height of the star system in studios. It has the glamour and strange underbelly and this was also when Communism was being hinted at among Americans. Not only did the Coens film their film but they also shot several scenes from other films in the film, no easy task. Everything was just pitch perfect throughout but enough of me talking about the film, that is for later.

Apart from being excited about the film, I re-read some Coen books as well as a quick flick through Ethan Coen's solo work, such as his book of poetry, 'The Drunken Driver Has The Right Of Way', his plays, 'Almost an Evening' and his book of short stories, 'Gates of Eden'. I actually had the book on cassette and during Uni I became a little obsessed with the story that Steve Buscemi read. Along with all this reading and watching new clips of the film on YouTube I went to a Coen Brothers themed quiz hosted by Little White Lies.

I dragged my sister along to a pub in Islington, which she found out was haunted, and we became Team 'Nice Marmet'. My sister then told me (but I already knew) that she had only seen 1 or 2 of their films. But it was no matter, I was confident we would/could do well. There were 5 teams, all with more people, one particularly large team seemed cocky, but still I had faith. The rounds were quite difficult especially the last round which weren't questions about the Coens but random questions that were connected to The Big Lebowski, like, how much does a bowling pin weigh. Anyway, the cocky team won and one guy was just so arrogant every one in the room boo-ed him of stage. My sister and I came 3rd, which, considering there was only two of us is pretty damn good. Then, here is where I get big headed, my sister did say that she helped with a few questions but I answered the rest. I'm quite proud of that. But I think if I was on my own I wouldn't have had the confidence, my sister was needed, I couldn't be 'Nice Marmet' alone.

I enjoy quizes, mostly film related ones but a Coen one was too hard to resist. I just need a Wes Anderson and Edgar Wright one and I'm set.

As I said, what I thought of Hail Caesar will be told in my Watch List. But my opinions in short will be on Twitter much sooner.


  1. Really looking forward to reading your post about Hail Caesar! I can't say I've been waiting for it as long as you have but I'm still really excited! :)
    - Allie

  2. I absolutely loved the film - prepare yourself for lots of love for old Hollywood and the Coens - you won't disappointed by the film :)