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Barton Fink [RSC Film Club 37]


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This month's film club selection comes from the filmography of Ethan and Joel Coen, as nominated by @djw180.  The winning film is their lesser known 1991 thriller/comedy/noir film Barton Fink, selected by @Con.

Barton Fink

Set in the early 40s, Barton Fink stars John Turturro as the titular character, a hot new playwright who goes to Hollywood to start working on movies.  However, upon arriving he finds that he is being told what to write, and has to stay at the rundown Hotel Earle, which may in fact be hell.  This film has a great, and terrifying, supporting turn from John Goodman as Charlie Meadows, his hotel neighbour, and smaller but memorable roles for the likes of Steve Buscemi and Tony Shalhoub.  

A dark and sometimes surreal film, this has elements that remind me of Mulholland Drive, but with that distinctive Coen Brothers twist.  This is actually my favourite film of theirs and need no excuse to watch it again.  

Angry John Goodman GIF

look upon me

Edited by LimeGreenLegend
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A very good story, which is exactly what you expect from the Cohen Brothers. Some good acting from John Turturro, John Goodman and Michael Lerner (deserved Oscar Nomination) and nice to see John Mahony in something other than Frasier. The plot is somewhat ambiguous, but I think deliberately so It's the sort of story I think you can take what you want from and one I will definitely watch again and probably see something different. The Hotel Earle, where Barton Fink lives in Hollywood is quite mysterious. We only see one other guest and two members of staff. Is it Hell? Well he has kind of sold his soul by giving up writing his meaningful plays that examine the human condition to go and write scripts for cheap films just to make money, and the end scenes are hellish. But is that supposed to be real or represent what's in Barton's mind?

Very well worth watching.



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