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Next Coen Brothers' Feature Goes Folk, Moverman Writes Brian Wilson Biopic

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood June 26, 2011 at 5:36AM

The Coen brothers will focus their next feature on the folk music scene in mid-20th century New York via the story of legendary musician Dave Van Ronk. Nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Van Ronk was known for his musical prowess and captivating storytelling. He presided over Village coffeehouse culture and helped to discover and cultivate such talents as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Last month, at a talk at Lincoln Center, the Coens said their upcoming film would have a heavy music focus and lean toward naturalism.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Coen brothers will focus their next feature on the folk music scene in mid-20th century New York via the story of legendary musician Dave Van Ronk. Nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Van Ronk was known for his musical prowess and captivating storytelling. He presided over Village coffeehouse culture and helped to discover and cultivate such talents as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and Phil Ochs. Last month, at a talk at Lincoln Center, the Coens said their upcoming film would have a heavy music focus and lean toward naturalism.

In another potential music biopic, River Road Entertainment secured the life rights to The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson. Oren Moverman, who wrote and directed The Messenger, is currently writing the script. The volatile musician was the force behind the watershed Pet Sounds album, after which he suffered a nervous breakdown while recording the follow-up album, Smile, which was finally released some 30 years ago.

This article is related to: Directors, Daily Read, Coens


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.