Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Harvey Weinstein Says Quentin Tarantino Has Changed The Last Chapter Of 'The Hateful Eight' Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance Review: ‘Slow West’ Starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee & Ben Mendelsohn Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2003 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 The 10 Best Films Of 2002 Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point Christopher Nolan Says His Howard Hughes Film Is Dead, But He'd Still Like To Do A Bond Film At Some Point

NYFF: The Coen Brothers' Say 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Is Likely Their Last Movie To Be Shot On Film

The Playlist By Gabe Toro | The Playlist September 27, 2013 at 12:05PM

It looks like Joel and Ethan Coen are moving away from film and into digital. And if you ask the filmmakers, who saw their “Inside Llewyn Davis” screen for press at the New York Film Festival yesterday (our review), it's something they're half-heartedly embracing. “I have to say I’m not wildly enthusiastic about the idea,” Joel told press. “This movie was shot on film for a couple of reasons. We were working with a DP whom we had done one small thing with in the past. [DP] Bruno [Delbonnel] had also not shot anything with a digital camera before, and we discussed that would be one more complicated factor in our relationship with a DP. It’s all a hybrid thing now because it all goes into a box, it goes into a computer, and gets heavily manipulated. But it’s probable that the next one we shot will be done digitally."
1
The Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis

It looks like Joel and Ethan Coen are moving away from film and into digital. And if you ask the filmmakers, who saw their “Inside Llewyn Davis” screen for press at the New York Film Festival yesterday (our review), it's something they're half-heartedly embracing. “I have to say I’m not wildly enthusiastic about the idea,” Joel told press. “This movie was shot on film for a couple of reasons. We were working with a DP whom we had done one small thing with in the past. [DP] Bruno [Delbonnel] had also not shot anything with a digital camera before, and we discussed that would be one more complicated factor in our relationship with a DP. It’s all a hybrid thing now because it all goes into a box, it goes into a computer, and gets heavily manipulated. But it’s probable that the next one we shot will be done digitally."

“Success movies have been done, haven’t they?”

That sort of trend-setting seems counterintuitive to their latest film, which finds the brothers looking back into history, specifically the unrecorded kind. The title character of “Inside Llewyn Davis” is an early '60s folk singer just barely trying to survive, caught in the middle of heavy tides during a severe culture shift. “We wanted to do something that was set in the scene before Dylan showed up,” says Joel. “He came onto that scene and kind of changed it, he was sort of a transformative figure. People know about that, so it seemed less interesting to us.” With a laugh, he adds, “Success movies have been done, haven’t they?”

Ethan describes Llewyn Davis as having a “tortured relationship with success. Making new crap out of the old crap, those were concerns for characters in that scene. Not wanting to sell out, but wanting to perform and reach people.” These struggles were brought to life by Oscar Isaac, a young leading man ready for his moment in the spotlight. As Davis, Isaac brings pathos and introspection to his role as a man eternally one step too slow, one minute too late. A lot of that came from Isaac’s collaborations with music supervisor T-Bone Burnett, allowing Isaac to not only perform the songs himself, but sometimes select them on his own.

Isaac describes his character as, “A guy who’s trying to be authentic and only plays old songs. But the culture is sort of moving on from that. And if they’re moving on, what’s he supposed to do? That’s what feels true to him.” Drawing contemporary parallels, he says, “In a way these folk musicians were like curators or DJs. They wrote these songs and presented them and once you collected the records people would realize, we’ve got the original there, we want you to do new stuff.”

Coen Brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis

Joel and Ethan gained their insight from a number of books from the period, though they primarily drew bits and pieces from “The Mayor Of MacDougal Street,” the memoirs of folk singer Dave Van Ronk co-authored by Elijah Wald. Joel describes the scene by saying, “There was an obsession with a certain kind of authenticity, in quotation marks, and having to do with traditional music that people involved with the early punk revival were very concerned with. And sometimes there were both interesting and ironic repercussions to that.”

Indeed, Joel and Ethan seemed interested in exploring Greek literature once again after their cheeky “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” In “Inside Llewyn Davis,” the character is constantly befuddled by a constantly disappearing cat, whose name turns out to be Odysseus. When this is pointed out, as well as the acknowledgement that John Goodman’s character may be a siren, Ethan jokes, “You could see it as an odyssey where the hero doesn’t go anywhere.” Ethan cautions not to look too close, however, as he downplays the ethereal significance of Goodman’s Roland Turner, with the actor marking his fifth collaboration with the Coens. “John turned us onto Charles Portis, the novelist who wrote ‘True Grit,’ but he’s written a lot of contemporary novels,” Ethan reveals. “And all his novels have this sort of old gasbag character... which is John in this movie.”

Whether on digital or film, or with Goodman or not, we'll be curious to see whatever the Coens do next. But for now, they have the excellent "Inside Llewyn Davis" on the way, playing the New York Film Festival starting this weekend. See all showtimes by clicking here. It opens in theaters on December 20th.


 

This article is related to: New York Film Festival , Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, Coen Brothers


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates