Saturday, 16 April 2011


The wide open spaces of a Coen movie.
Wednesday night at the RBC Film Theatre was another in the Directors Focus series, this time following, True Grit on Monday, the Coen Brother were the subject of Darren Conner’s discussion. The evening started with a showing of the 1996 award winning Fargo.

The Coen character study.
Fargo is a dark comedy crime drama set in a very snowy North Dakota where Jerry Lundergaard a car salesman, who’s desperately in debt, arranges for two ex-cons to abduct his wife. The ransom is to be paid by Jerry’s rich, bullying father-in-law and split between Jerry and the two villains. But the “no rough stuff” deal does not work out as planned. This is due to two things the clumsy ineffectual crooks and the intervention of the seven-month pregnant local police chief Marge Gunderson.

Produced, directed and written by the brother’s Coen it stars the absolutely brilliant Frances McDormand as the very sharp local police officer, William H Macy as the anxious car dealer, the “funny lookin little fellow” Carl Showaller is played by Steve Buscemi and the psychopathic Gaear Grimsrud, a killer with a craving for pancakes, is portrayed by Peter Stormare. The film earned seven Academy Award nominations, winning Best Original Screenplay for the Coen's and a very disserving Best Actress in a Leading Role for McDormand.

Coen humour.
Following the film Darren gave a very good talk with reference to what makes a Coen movie, something I have already rambled in my comments on True Grit (see link below) but suffice to say the Coen’s are unique, with an attention to detail, humour, strong characters and their tremendous writing ability. I think all of us who attended on Wednesday would agree that the whole evening was very enjoyable and I’m sure we would all like to thank Darren, who’s next for a focus then?

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