New Woody Allen Film Opens Cannes Festival

Can Mia Farrow's children please shut up already? I can't believe there's a new article with one of them blasting Woody Allen (and the media) for not giving his sister's decades-old allegations that have traveled around the globe several times as much attention as he thinks they deserve.

The launching pad for this new attack is Woody Allen's new film, Cafe Society, which is opening the Cannes Film Festival.

Woody Allen is a filmmaker, not an elected official. He's not our father. If you have a problem with your father, discuss it among yourselves, and if you think a crime was committed report it. If the authorities don't act on the allegations, leave us out of it. [More...]

Mr. Farrow apparently don't believe in the presumption of innocence. He talks about "women everywhere with allegations of sexual assault that have never been vindicated by a conviction." Maybe there's a reason for the lack of a conviction. Maybe the abuse didn't happen. Maybe they charged the wrong guy. Maybe the allegations are the product of planted, fabicated or faulty memories. Does anyone remember the McMartin Preschool Cases? Maybe the eyewitness evidence was faulty. Maybe the cops manipulated a false confession. Maybe there was no crime because the act was between consenting adults.

My sympathies are with those who are languishing in our prisons with credible claims of innocence, not those who doggedly insist on re-airing dirty laundry decades after the fact, when no conviction was obtained.

Check out the National Registry of Exonerations:

The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the University of Michigan Law School. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence.

There have been 1,789 exonerations since 1989. Sex crimes account for the 476 of them, second only to homicide/manslaughter. As of February, 2016, 27% of the total number of wrongful convictions were for sexual assault (this figure includes 11% wrongly convicted of child sex abuse.)

Among exonerations in specific crime categories:

  • The rate of Perjury or False Accusations is highest in child sex abuse cases (83%) and homicide cases (68%).
  • The rate of Official Misconduct is highest in homicide cases (64%) and child sex abuse (39%).
  • The rate of Mistaken Identifications is highest in adult sexual assault cases (70%).
  • The rate of False or Misleading Forensic Evidence is highest in adult sexual assault cases (31%) and homicide (23%).

In this country, a person who has not been convicted is presumed innocent. It's a sleight of hand to twist allegations that have not been proven into allegations that have not yet been vindicated.

Cafe Society stars Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Kristen Stewart, Cory Stoll, Parker Posey and Blake Lively.

Set in the 1930s, Cafe Society centers on Bobby Dorfman (Eisenberg) who is caught between conflicting parents and a gangster brother. Escaping to Hollywood, he finds his uncle Phil (Steve Carell), a powerful agent of stars who agrees to hire him as courier.

Three clips are available here.

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    In the early 1940s, Cafe Society in NYC (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Peter G on Wed May 11, 2016 at 03:44:48 PM EST
    was the first racially integrated jazz club. Many of the greats of that era performed at Cafe Society. Teddy Wilson played piano, Billie Holiday sang, Frank Newton played trumpet. My parents socialized there.

    too bad it wasn't set in the 40s (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by CST on Wed May 11, 2016 at 03:51:44 PM EST
    As it seems to be an all-white cast.

    Which, frankly, is more than a bit old, but is par for the course for a Woody Allen movie.


    And (none / 0) (#8)
    by Nemi on Wed May 11, 2016 at 05:49:49 PM EST
    - the last part of your comment - is sort of being illustrated in the - still hilarious - 'sperm scene' in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex. All the white, clad in white, sperms are anxiously awaiting their launch, when a desperate voice is heard saying: "What am I doing here?" and as the camera pans to a black guy/sperm, he repeats "What am I doing here!"

    Yes Yes Yes (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:03:45 PM EST
    Out of the mouths of TL babes ;)

    It's set in the 1930s. (none / 0) (#37)
    by IndiDemGirl on Thu May 12, 2016 at 08:23:54 PM EST
    Yes, I do remember the McMartin travesty (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by McBain on Wed May 11, 2016 at 04:14:32 PM EST
    You can get kids to say just about anything if they think they're in trouble.   Same with low I.Q. adults.  To this day, people still don't get it....  interrogations don't always yield the truth.

    I'm also tired of the Farrow children.

    Cafe Society doesn't sound like an Allen Film I'll enjoy but he has made some great ones.  My favorites include....
    Take The Money and Run
    Annie Hall
    Crimes and Misdemeanors
    Hannah and her Sisters
    Match Point

    That was Janet Reno's witch hunt (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 11, 2016 at 06:29:11 PM EST
    Huh? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 11, 2016 at 11:08:46 PM EST
    The McMartin Pre-School case began in Manhattan Beach, CA back in Sept. 1983, when I was still in college. By the time it finally ended seven years later, having cost over $15 million in taxpayer funds, the McMartin case had traumatized hundreds of children emotionally, and had effectively and thoroughly destroyed the lives and careers of the six initial co-defendants, including three members of the McMartin family itself, who lost everything.

    The one who really got screwed was then-25-year-old co-defendant Ray Buckey, the hapless grandson of co-defendant Virginia McMartin, who was initially denied bond upon his arrest in late 1983, and as a result subsequently spent the next five years locked up in L.A. County Jail awaiting trial for crimes which more than likely never even occurred.

    This witch hunt -- let's call it what it was --  finally ended with the jury deadlocked at Ray Buckey's second trial in 1990. Prosecutors wisely chose to not continue beating a dead horse by putting him on trial for a third time, and the few remaining charges against him were then dismissed.

    As I recall, Ms. Reno was then serving as district attorney for Dade County, FL and would not become U.S. Attorney General for another three years.

    If anyone wants to learn more about the McMartin case and the media-driven public hysteria which drove it, the New York Times has produced a pretty thorough recount on video, which is posted on Retro Report.



    You're right. Reno's "Miami Method" (none / 0) (#20)
    by Mr Natural on Thu May 12, 2016 at 02:20:36 AM EST
    arose from a completely different case.

    In 1984, while at Channel 6, Hollingsworth became interested in "ritual" daycare sex abuse, which had exploded into the national media after the McMartin Preschool case surfaced. The station, she writes in Unspeakable Acts, frequently took calls from Joseph and Laurie Braga, local child development specialists who offered tips for stories concerning child-welfare issues.

    In May, according to Hollingsworth, the Bragas phoned Channel 6 and suggested the station do a "tie-in" story to McMartin. The idea piqued interest, and Channel 6 staffers began researching an investigative series on daycare regulation. Hollingsworth spent almost three months helping to produce it. The finished piece was sharply critical of Florida's failure to check criminal records of people applying for positions in daycare centers, and of prosecutors' inability to bring accused perpetrators to justice because of children's perceived inability to testify in court.

    The series, with its damning view of the child-protection prosecution system, was broadcast in mid-July. Joseph and Laurie Braga appeared in a follow-up story and stressed the need for reforms. The couple then approached State Attorney Janet Reno. Hollingsworth writes that Reno, who faced an election in November, was concerned about the competition to her incumbency posed by challenger Jose Garcia-Pedrosa, a Miami attorney.

    Well, there was a McMartin connection ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 12, 2016 at 04:30:07 AM EST
    ... due to the hysteria it fueled across the country, so you weren't that far off. In Los Angeles County alone, the McMartin case led to over 5,000 reports of child abuse and molestation in seven different pre-schools by early 1984!

    And as was noted in the local Florida example you cited, law enforcement personnel weren't the only ones who failed spectacularly here. A special place in Hell ought to be reserved for those members of the media who recklessly reported baseless rumor and innuendo to the public as thought it were fact, heedless of the pain and damage they were causing everyone involved, particularly the defendants and their families.

    When Ray Buckey was contacted by local SoCal media a few years ago on the 30th anniversary of his initial arrest in the McMartin case, he had long since moved away from L.A. and very firmly told reporters that he had nothing at all to say to them, and that they had done enough harm to him and needed to leave him alone.



    I believe the Waco/ Branch Davidian disaster (none / 0) (#25)
    by McBain on Thu May 12, 2016 at 12:18:06 PM EST
    was Reno's black eye.  I've seen some really good documentaries on that including...
    Waco: The Rules of Engagement
    Waco: A New Revalation

    The FBI and ATF were put in a difficult situation but the FBI literally added fuel to the fire.  Some believe they started the fire in the first place and shot at Davidians fleeing the building.

    Whatever the case it was a horribly managed situation.  


    Gee (none / 0) (#28)
    by FlJoe on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:51:37 PM EST
    what ever happened to your "just comply with LEOs" mantra? Or does that just apply to a certain class of citizens?

    He's got that covered, Joe (none / 0) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Thu May 12, 2016 at 02:01:06 PM EST
    You must have missed the all-encompassing, "some believe......"

    David Koresh and his followers (none / 0) (#31)
    by McBain on Thu May 12, 2016 at 03:38:31 PM EST
    definitely share some of the blame for what happened.  They should have "complied".  But that doesn't let Janet Reno and others off the hook for several bad decisions.

    As far as your snarky comment..... I believe there was a coverup.  Evidence was unnecessarily  destroyed that could have shed light on what really happened.  Compelling testimony was ignored by congress. It very well might have been murder.


    McBain, I agree with you (none / 0) (#39)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 12, 2016 at 11:04:58 PM EST
    on WACO. The feds totally blew it in my opinion.

    not to quibble.. (none / 0) (#13)
    by linea on Wed May 11, 2016 at 10:27:14 PM EST
    i dont think you really mean "low i.q." i think you mean certain personality types are more inclined to provide answers that they feel will please an authority figure.

    I meant people who aren't very smart (none / 0) (#17)
    by McBain on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:52:49 AM EST
    sometimes bordering on mentally disabled. They can't always grasp the magnitude of the situation they're in.  Sometimes a judge will throw out a confession from someone like that, but not always.

    oh (none / 0) (#18)
    by linea on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:56:07 AM EST

    oh... (none / 0) (#19)
    by linea on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:58:52 AM EST
    i didnt know a judge would do that if the person wasnt adjudicated incompetant.  i learn something new every day.

    I liked the early (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 11, 2016 at 04:20:33 PM EST
    Funny ones.


    My favorite is (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by KeysDan on Wed May 11, 2016 at 04:56:09 PM EST
    Midnight in Paris (2011), at least of the more recent ones. A Woody Allen movie without Woody Allen, although Owen Wilson exhibited so many of Woody's mannerisms as to be a clone.

      Not a bad member of the cast; Kathy Bates, Adrian Brody, Marion Cotillard, Rachael McAdams, and Michael Sheen.  And, of course, Carla Bruni of Nicholas Sarkozy fame.


    That was a fun, lighthearted movie. (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 12, 2016 at 05:00:45 AM EST
    Everyone looked like they were having a great time in it. I think my favorite was Corey Stoll, whose characterization of Ernest Hemingway at his "Quien es mas macho" best was a real hoot.

    Woody is like a prolific (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed May 11, 2016 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    Terrence Malick.  He just says he making a movie and the stars start fighting over roles.

    the floating VW bug... (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Mr Natural on Wed May 11, 2016 at 06:32:28 PM EST
    Do you remember the National Lampoon Volkswagon ad?  "If Teddy Kennedy had driven a VW Beetle, he'd be President today..."

    Why does Stardust Memories (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Farmboy on Thu May 12, 2016 at 03:06:47 PM EST
    suddenly come to mind?

    Thank you (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by barbarajmay on Thu May 12, 2016 at 08:27:34 PM EST
     Thank you so much for your words of wisdom. I do family court litigation, and I can't even tell you how often I hear allegations of child sexual abuse. In every case, they are accompanied by parental alienation  or they are the opening salvo in a custody fight. I don't know what the facts are in this case. None of us will, because none of us will ever be on a jury in this case   But I am very concerned that after all of these years, Mr. Farrow is consumed not just with his story, but with his need to convince me of his story. I wish he would get the therapy that he so badly needs, and I wish you would go away.

    Where do you (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 12, 2016 at 11:08:34 PM EST
    want me to go to? Or was that a typo?

    Typo (none / 0) (#46)
    by barbarajmay on Fri May 13, 2016 at 12:59:25 AM EST
    No!  You stay.  Ronan goes.  How embarrassing.

    It's always sad (none / 0) (#51)
    by Nemi on Fri May 13, 2016 at 08:41:20 AM EST
    when parents turn their children against the other parent, even going to such lengths as making unsubstantiated claims to hurt the other the most. And worse when done in public as is the case with the Farrows' hatred of Woody Allen. Even as I consider what went on in the Farrow-Allen households none of my business, I'm sort of being made a witness against my wish.

    And I'm not quite sure that Ronan Farrow is so much consumed by his own story as he is with his mom's?

    Also the timing seems to be chosen to hurt the most and get the most publicity. The last time this claim was made public it was in connection with the Oscars where Woody Allen was nominated, now it's in connection with the Cannes Festival. Surely not a coincidence?


    I want to point out that Dylan's (none / 0) (#57)
    by caseyOR on Sat May 14, 2016 at 11:30:31 AM EST
    claim of abuse by her father has not been dismissed as false by everyone. There were law enforcement officials and prosecutors who believed her, but, as happens sometimes, did not think they could get the conviction. So did not prosecute.

    I find this wholesale dismissal of Dylan and her family deplorable. This kind of response is one big reason victims of sexual abuse do not come forward with greater frequency. They are the ones who are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion.

    Yes, false accusations are deplorable. They are also rare. Whenever this comes up here on TL the citation used to condemn Dylan is always the just McMartin case, which was a travesty, but not indicative of a trend.

    If you take a look at the statistics on sexual abuse in this country you will find that it is far more likely that Dylan is telling the truth and Woody Allen is lying. So why this continued insistence on condemning the child?

    And, seriously, people who persist in telling Dylan and her family, in oh so many ways, to just get over it, are despicable in my book.



    What is the compelling evidence against (none / 0) (#58)
    by McBain on Sat May 14, 2016 at 11:45:55 AM EST
    Woody Allen? What are the statistics on sexual abuse that suggest Dylan is telling the truth?

    There have been other famous cases of false allegations.  The Bakersfield case comes to mind.... a good documentary was made about it called "Witch Hunt".


    Clarification (none / 0) (#60)
    by Nemi on Sat May 14, 2016 at 05:06:56 PM EST
    When I wrote "worse when done in public" it was in reference to "when parents turn their children against the other parent" and not in reference to "making unsubstantiated claims". My bad that it could be interpreted that way, as I don't have an opinion on the claims from Farrow or whether they are true.

    Apart from that, there is absolutely nothing in my comment that justifies your lashing out at me and attribute to me things I didn't write/never wrote, and opinions I don't have and never expressed, something that, fwiw, in my book is a despicable behaviour. I can't take responsibility for opinions other TLers may or may not have expressed in the past. Also there's no need for you to lecture me about sexual abuse ... really.

    Contrary to your rather unpleasant, uncalled-for, accusatory rant and your condemnation of Woody Allen, I find this piece from the Guardian very sensible and insightful.


    My comment was not directed (none / 0) (#64)
    by caseyOR on Sun May 15, 2016 at 12:21:10 PM EST
    at you. I was not "lashing out" at you. Sorry you took it that way.

    casey, OR: "Yes, false accusations are deplorable. They are also rare. Whenever this comes up here on TL the citation used to condemn Dylan is always the just McMartin case, which was a travesty, but not indicative of a trend."

    ... indicative of a trend, and in fact served as the primary catalyst for the subsequent public hysteria about child sexual abuse which first swept through Southern California, and then the nation.

    As I noted on Thursday, within one year of the story breaking in the media, police in Los Angeles County were dealing with over 5,000 reports of alleged child molestation that had been filed with various Southland departments.

    And this sort of unbridled hysteria still rears its ugly head from time to time. In 1994-95, a Wenatchee, WA police lieutenant became convinced of the existence of a child sex ring in his small city of 22,000, and took the local D.A.'s office along for the ride. Eventually, 43 people were indicted on more than 29,000 counts of child sex abuse, leading to 18 convictions, nearly all of which were subsequently set aside by the end of the millenium.

    Such so-called "crimes against nature" tend to summon forth from within us our very worst fears and instincts about people, sometimes to the point where logic and caution are summarily tossed aside in the supposed pursuit of justice.

    In that regard, we ought to keep Jeralyn's admonition to us in mind, and not require those who are so accused to provide us with evidence of their own vindication, and not convict Allen in the court of public opinion by citing statistics.



    My biggest dilemma will be whether to (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Wed May 11, 2016 at 04:39:19 PM EST
    go to a Kristin Stewart movie. That will be a tough sell.

    She was good in the Julianna Moore... (none / 0) (#9)
    by magster on Wed May 11, 2016 at 06:07:15 PM EST
    ... Alzheimer's movie.

    (Opens envelope.) "And the Oscar goes to --" obligatory pregnant pause "-- Julianne Moore in that Alzheimer's movie!"

    (Sustained applause as Ms. Moore arises from her seat and heads to the stage, while the orchestra plays the quickly forgettable theme from the Alzheimer's movie's original soundtrack, which was composed by Whatsisname.)

    I didn't remember the name of the film, either. Which, of course, means that if it's going to be remembered at all in the coming years, it'll likely be as one of those pedestrian star vehicles for which Academy voters were absolutely determined to honor the star for whatever their reason was at the time, and really didn't care what vehicle the star so happened to be driving.

    In that regard, Ms. Moore's award-winning performance in that Alzheimer's movie will soon join the hallowed pantheon of other similar Oscar turns in otherwise unmemorable films, such as Elizabeth Taylor in that call girl hooks up with rich guy movie, Robert Duvall in that country-western singer down on his luck movie, Jeff Bridges in that alcoholic country-western singer on the skids movie, Art Carney in that eccentric old man and his cat movie, or Geraldine Page in that free-spirited old lady on the road movie.



    Still Alice (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 12, 2016 at 05:43:11 PM EST
    It was called Still Alice.  And it was actually quite a good movie.  Memorable, you could say.

    Remember Memento? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Thu May 12, 2016 at 06:05:15 PM EST
    I forgot about Mamento (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 12, 2016 at 06:08:39 PM EST
    Not really.

    Pfft (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 12, 2016 at 06:10:19 PM EST
    That was the sequel in which a woman forgets she has breast implants.

    Yes, but I liked (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 12, 2016 at 11:06:08 PM EST
    Run Lola Run better. For some reason, I think of them together.

    Remember "Tender Mercies"? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 12, 2016 at 11:25:35 PM EST
    Or "Harry and Tonto"? Apparently nobody else does, either.

    And "Memento" was so great, they're apparently remaking it.

    Perhaps while they're at it, Hollywood could remake "L.A. Confidential," too.


    I love Tender Mercies. (none / 0) (#43)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 12, 2016 at 11:32:28 PM EST
    A really sweet film.  While, it seems, you did not think much of Julianne Moore's work in Still Alice, I thought she was excellent and deserving of that Oscar.

    Moore's very good in everything she does. (none / 0) (#45)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 13, 2016 at 12:27:53 AM EST
    And I thought she was the very best thing in this film, which I otherwise found much too emotionally manipulative for my taste. She carried it on her back while trudging uphill, for had she not been there, "Still Alice" would've been strictly Lifetime Movie Channel fare.

    But of all of Julianne Moore's wonderful films and performances they would've, could've, should've honored for over the years, well -- hey, I'm just being a crank, and that's strictly my opinion. Personally, I think Sarah Polley's "Away With Her" was a much better film about Alzheimer's.



    The Polley film was marvelous (none / 0) (#47)
    by ruffian on Fri May 13, 2016 at 07:02:51 AM EST
    is 'Away with Her' really the title? That does not sound right. I think I haven't seen Still Alice yet in part because I don't want my memory of that film taken over, and part because I suspect what you say is true about Moore carrying the whole thing on her back.

    My favorite of her performances is in 'The End of the Affair'. Wow. She deserved the Oscar then...I think the 'Still Alice' Oscar was really to make up for that.


    Away from her (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri May 13, 2016 at 07:49:29 AM EST
    I think

    You're correct. (none / 0) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 13, 2016 at 10:59:16 PM EST
    It was "Away From Her" and not "Away With Her," which appears to be a subliminal Freudian slip on my part. I better make an appointment to see my analyst to figure out why.

    Before watching (none / 0) (#49)
    by Nemi on Fri May 13, 2016 at 08:02:38 AM EST
    'The End of the Affair' I had read a review from a film critic I usually relied on. And he ... gave away the 'plot'! Even in one of his first sentences, so it was hard to avoid.

    I was furious. What a bummer and of course the movie wasn't at all the same with that knowledge. I never forgave him. :(


    You mean, the affair ended? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 13, 2016 at 11:01:58 PM EST
    Now I can never watch it, either. (Sniff!)

    No, no, no (none / 0) (#55)
    by Nemi on Sat May 14, 2016 at 06:51:02 AM EST
    Donald, he gave away the reason for the affair ending. Which was totally incomprehensible until it was revealed at the very end of the movie.

    Makes me think of a cartoon I saw as a kid - which apparently has made an everlasting impression on me ;) - showing people standing in line outside a movie theater advertising a murder mystery-movie, while a kid is being carried out of the theater along the line, kicking and screaming, to the dismay of the waiting audience: "The Butler did it! The Butler did it!" :)


    But why (none / 0) (#50)
    by Nemi on Fri May 13, 2016 at 08:08:34 AM EST
    a remake, when the original was so good! Even though you needed a viewing-guide ... and a DVRed version. ;)

    On YouTube you can find a - probably more - version in the 'right' order. I'm not sure I would want to watch it that way.


    Why does Hollywood remake anything? (none / 0) (#54)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 13, 2016 at 11:19:57 PM EST
    I've never forgiven Universal Pictures for remaking the taut and exciting 1973 political thriller "The Day of the Jackal" in 1997 as the ridiculously overblown "The Jackal." While it was yet another mindless star vehicle for Bruce Willis, it proved to be a very sad valedictory appearance for the great Sidney Poitier.

    Rhetorical? (none / 0) (#56)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat May 14, 2016 at 08:12:17 AM EST
    I assume.  They do it for the same reasons they do sequels.  It's safe.

    There is way to much of both.  That said, there are some films that scream for a remake.  Total Recall comes to mind.  The Thing.  The Fly. Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Let Me In.
    All were better that the originals which were all good.   Effects movies offer the best justification.

    There are as many misfires.  Poltergeist comes to mind.

    There are several Classic SciFy movies I've always wanted to see remade.  Fantastic Voyage.  Cameron has been talking about a remake of Forbidden Planet for years which I think would be awsum.c


    The Coen Brothers' remake ... (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat May 14, 2016 at 09:01:57 PM EST
    ... of "True Grit" in 2010 was in my estimation infinitely better than the 1969 original, if only because it proved much more faithful to Charles Portis' novel.

    I think that "True Grit" may well be my favorite Coen Brothers movie. (That's not to be confused with their best movie, which for my money is still "Fargo.") And Jeff Bridges literally inhabited the character of Marshal Rooster Cogburn whereas 41 years earlier, John Wayne played Cogburn as John Wayne with an eyepatch and a hangover.

    But to be fair to John Wayne, his Oscar-winning performance is a rather remarkable exercise in conscious self-parody, and when compared to the clearly amateur deliveries of co-stars Kim Darby and Glen Campbell, he oftentimes looks like Sir Laurence Olivier.



    Agreed, Fargo (none / 0) (#63)
    by KeysDan on Sun May 15, 2016 at 10:19:49 AM EST
    was great, and probably, the Coen Brothers best.  But, for me, Miller's Crossing (1990), is tied. The neo-noir gangster film was firmly cradled in its fedora by Gabriel Byrnes, John Turturro, and Albert Finnery.  And, the great Marcia Gay Harden.

    That's another awesome film. (none / 0) (#65)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 15, 2016 at 02:12:42 PM EST
    You never quite know what to expect from Joel and Ethan Coen, which is generally what makes their work so compelling.

    This year's "Hail, Caesar!" is arguably their most lightweight and popcorn-quality film, but it's an awful lot of fun to watch just because the entire cast looks like it was having a great time while making it. That scene with director Lawrence Lorenz (Ralph Feinnes) trying vainly to correct the diction and delivery of his horribly miscast star Hobey Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) had me laughing out loud.

    That said, the one Coen Brothers film which I absolutely couldn't stand was "Barton Fink," which inexplicably won the Palm D'Or award at Cannes in 1991. That was two hours of my life which I'll never, ever get back.



    lol; I liked Barton Fink (none / 0) (#66)
    by Mr Natural on Sun May 15, 2016 at 03:47:49 PM EST
    I loved Barton Fink (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 15, 2016 at 04:06:13 PM EST
    But I think my favorite Coen brothers movie is still their first.  Blood Simple.

    It's so chocked full of creativity and visual ideas.  

    To celebrate their three decades of moviemaking, a Blood Simple first-timer offers his thoughts on the Coen brothers' debut.

    It starts here, then. 30 years of the Coens and it all started here, with Blood Simple, the duo's debut feature. In honour of the brothers' 16 features, here's some scattered notes after re-watching the film:

    1)      Firstly, what an assured debut. Has a first film ever so concretely established the director's (or in this case, directors') vision? From the delicate interplay between light and dark (both visually and metaphorically) to the meticulous attention to detail (both narratively and technically), Blood Simple always feels like it's a Coens film. Nothing seems unusual for the pair, and there's nothing notable here that feels out of place in the canon. It's all there: The desperate band of losers in way over their heads; the rational reactions to irrational circumstances; the perplexing web of misunderstanding that binds the film's key players.


    And I will never forget the absolutely brilliant marketing for the movie.  I was living in Manhattan and for weeks before it premiered there was sly brilliant Easter eggs turning up everywhere.  Like an ad, or what looked like an ad, turning up in all the print publications in NY.  Print was still king then.

    It was the term "Blood Simple" and it's noir definition.  That is the state an inexperienced killer often finds themselves in after a murder when they do really stupid things.


    Also (none / 0) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 15, 2016 at 04:19:14 PM EST
    That post gets into the weeds about the films visual references to other great films but IMO misses the best one but discusses the sequence-

    8)      Blood Simple contains one of the greatest of all Coens sequences, in which, for 13 minutes, Ray attempts to dispose of Marty's (Heyada) body, taking him from office, to car, to highway, to upturned field. There's no dialogue. Like so much of what the Coens would go on to film, it's masterful

    When I saw the film in 85 this scene instantly hit me as an homage to a similar scene in the great Wertmuller movie Seven Beauties from 10 years earlier.

    And every time I see it and I have seen it hundreds of times the final shot, the point of view shot of the dying bad guy, of the underside of the bathroom sink makes me laugh out loud.


    "Blood Simple" was outstanding. (none / 0) (#72)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 15, 2016 at 05:15:49 PM EST
    That debut was what first put the Coen Brothers on my radar as must-see cinema. But I found "Barton Fink" to be cringe-worthy, and it really and truly rubbed me the wrong way.

    Also #2 (none / 0) (#69)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 15, 2016 at 04:26:20 PM EST
    Since we were discussing remakes, it has very possibly the greatest remake in the entire history of film

    A Simple Noodle Story[1] (simplified Chinese: 三枪拍案惊奇; traditional Chinese: 三槍拍案驚奇; pinyin: Sānqiāng Pāi'àn Jīngqí), internationally A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop[2] (Blood Simple in the UK) is a 2009 film directed by Zhang Yimou. It is a remake of Blood Simple, the 1984 debut of the Coen brothers, whose films Zhang Yimou lists as among his favorites.[3] The film transports the original film's plot from a town in Texas to a noodle shop in a small desert town in Gansu province.[3]

    The film is a mixture of a thriller and screwball comedy.[4] The film stars Sun Honglei, Ni Dahong in the thriller segment while comedians Xiaoshenyang and Yan Ni star in the comedic segment. The film has been described as a considerable departure from the director's previous works.[5]

    Trailer (none / 0) (#70)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 15, 2016 at 04:30:59 PM EST
    I walked out afterward dumbfounded. (none / 0) (#71)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun May 15, 2016 at 05:10:10 PM EST
    On the heels of "Raising Arizona" and "Miller's Crossing," I was really looking forward to "Barton Fink," given the awards and rave reviews it had been receiving.

    Once the film started, I kept waiting for it to get going and something to finally happen, only to see it simply end, leaving me to ponder the point of that mind-numbing two-hour exercise in cinematic tedium. I mean, it was a thoroughly unenjoyable experience for me.

    Since I've admittedly never seen "Barton Fink" again in the 25 years since its initial release, I suppose I should probably give it another chance. But to be quite honest, per my initial impression and opinion of the film, I don't know if I'm going to see anything different the second time around to make me want to change my mind about it.

    Given the film's critical acclaim as a "dark comedy" (per Siskel & Ebert, et al.), I quite obviously must have missed something here. But for the life of me, I'm still hard-pressed to see exactly what it was, because while "Barton Fink" was certainly dark to the point of oppressive, I didn't find it at all funny.

    What exactly did you like about the film? If I'm to reassess it fairly on the rebound, maybe I should start there.



    Coenesque (none / 0) (#73)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 15, 2016 at 05:37:43 PM EST

    Barton Fink is a movie with complex symbolism, plot twists, hidden meanings, and a helluvalot of funny jokes. If you haven't seen Barton Fink, or if you have only watched this once, this coming discussion will make the Barton Fink feeling much less exciting. So don't read it if you haven't seen it, OK? Much of Barton Fink can be explained by looking at the wallpaper. Yeah, the wallpaper. From the opening and closing credits, showing the wallpaper in its splendid beige beauty, it is one of the more important symbolic elements in the film.

    1. So why does the wallpaper peel?

    This is, for all intensive purposes, a symbolic joke. Both Barton and Charlie Meadows emotional states are represented by two of the elements: water and fire. The first time we catch wind of this (pun intended), Barton is entering the Hotel Earle. We see a shot of waves crashing against a large rock...and the water dissolves into the floor of the Hotel Earle, as though the brown carpeting were sand. Throughout the film, Barton looks at the picture of the girl -- sitting by the water, and crashing waves come up in the soundtrack. Plus, the movie ends at the shoreline.


    Hotel Earle is hell -- literally and figuratively. Water dissolves in it, Chet comes up from the underworld, the letter 6 is repeated in triplicate when Barton boards the elevator. "A day or a lifetime," the stationary reads (notice, the pencil on the stationary has no lead. Not a good place to start writing, eh?)
    Charlie Meadows is the hotel's resident fallen angel. And I don't use "fallen angel" in a sense of referring to big Satan himself, Charlie truly is a fallen angel in all senses of the word. All Charlie wants to do is help people, wants to keep people out of hell, keep them from the ways he feels. Notice, the man sells FIRE insurance. And hell yeah, he believes in it.



    One funny bit (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 15, 2016 at 05:47:08 PM EST
    Hard to imagine a more Jewish name than Barton Fink.  So we have a Jew in hell and Jews don't believe in hell.  Strictly strictly speaking.

    Yeah, I got all that. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon May 16, 2016 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    As I stated earlier, I found it overwhelmingly dark and oppressive. In my opinion, "Barton Fink" stands as the Coen Brothers' most heavy-handed effort to date, an unintended and excessive self-parody of their own penchant for exploring cinematic symbolism. My experience as a viewer was neither enjoyable nor enlightening. Well, anyway, thanks for trying. I think I'll pass on the revisit.

    Was I supposed to be (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 16, 2016 at 03:59:35 PM EST

    I assumed that you were, ... (none / 0) (#83)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue May 17, 2016 at 04:17:24 AM EST
    ... given your lengthy posts about the film's symbolism.

    Lengthy posts (none / 0) (#84)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue May 17, 2016 at 06:22:26 AM EST
    Seriously?  My lengthy posts?

    Which were mostly cut and paste.  

    That pretty funny.


    Another remake (none / 0) (#75)
    by Nemi on Mon May 16, 2016 at 07:33:44 AM EST
    I won't be watching, as the original was just perfect, is El Secreto de Sus Ojos/ The Secret in their Eyes, reviewed here by Peter Bradshaw sta(r)ting:

    And so, yet another great film gets a pointless and slightly wrong Hollywood remake ...

    Which just confirms my own opposition to remakes. But then at the end of his review, Bradshaw mentions Some Like it Hot as "the greatest remake in film history". Hmmm, I didn't even know that was a remake - apparently of a French comedy Fanfares d'Amour from 1935 - so it seems there are at least one exception to my rule ... of opposition. :)


    I felt the same (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 16, 2016 at 08:23:08 AM EST
    When I heard about a remake of Let The Right One In the  Sweedish film I loved.

    called "Let Me In"

    WTF I thought.

    I was wrong the remake was better than the original.  

    Nothing wrong with a good remake.

    Otoh we have the bi yearly remakes of Spider-Man.  Not all remakes are created equal.


    IN sequel news (none / 0) (#77)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 16, 2016 at 08:53:06 AM EST
    Blade Runner director Ridley Scott serves as executive producer on the sequel. The script was written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, based on an idea by Fancher and Scott. Fancher co-wrote the original with David Peoples based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

    Gosling just released his directorial debut, the dark fantasy Lost River. As an actor, he's just wrapped Shane Black's The Nice Guys and Terrence Malick's Weightless, and is now filming The Big Short with Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, and director Adam McKay.

    Over the past decade and half, Gosling has built himself an enviable career in indies and grown-up dramas. Blade Runner 2 is arguably the closest he's come yet to the kind of big-budget franchise films that have launched many of his colleagues.

    Even then, the Blade Runner sequel seems to have a more prestigious sheen than your average summer blockbuster. The original is widely regarded as iconic, and Villeneuve is an acclaimed filmmaker who's not really known for action tentpoles, either.

    Villeneuve's last two releases were Prisoners and Enemy. His next film Sicario will make its world premiere at this year's Cannes Film Festival, as announced earlier today. It stars Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio del Toro.

    Shooting on the Blade Runner sequel begins next summer. No release date has been set, but that means we can likely look for it in theaters around 2017 or 2018.

    Ahhhh (none / 0) (#80)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon May 16, 2016 at 05:16:34 PM EST
    I expect good things from the new Spiderman, in the Marvel Universe.
    Tom Holland was fantastic as the teenage Spiderman in Civil War. You wish he was a more integral part of the film.

    Does that make more (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 16, 2016 at 05:39:51 PM EST
    Living ex-Spidermen that Newt has ex-wives?


    Give Spider-Man a rest.  


    Granted (none / 0) (#82)
    by TrevorBolder on Mon May 16, 2016 at 07:14:06 PM EST
    It is what everyone says about most remakes.

    I just love the potential, Holland was excellent, and now being in the Marvel Universe adds to the possibilities.
    Downey is already in,   and most likely Evans will have small roles in the Spiderman Homecoming stand alone movie coming out.
    I expect a rousing three boot.
    And damn Marvel made you sit all the way through the credits after Civil War, they had 2 added teaser scenes through the credits, but I was determined to wait through the whole credit roll and didn't miss them, lol.


    You and my husband ;) (none / 0) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:08:54 PM EST
    She keeps getting hired though. And of late I'm starting to suspect acting classes. He and Josh also continue to hammer Keanu Reeves who was blessed with as much inflection and expression. Oh yeah, and white truffle oil too. Fine...fine...I haz all ur white truffle oil!

    ... sans the DUIs and binge drinking. (At least, as far as I know.) I don't understand why and how she keeps getting parts, because she's really -- well, I'll be charitable and say that she's nothing special. But then, like your husband, I've never understood the appeal of Keanu Reeves as an actor, who's so wooden that he runs a serious risk of getting upstaged by his own cardboard cutout.

    And speaking of Ms. Lohan, I recently caught her last movie on cable, "The Canyons," which was directed by Paul Schrader, who as a screenwriter turned out such memorable fare as "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull."

    Anyway, Ms. Lohan was out-acted by p0rn star James Deen, which gives you a pretty good hint as to the Velveeta-like quality of "The Canyons." As a director, I find Schrader's films to be hit and miss, and this one was no exception. I could hit myself for having wasted my time watching it, and I really wished I would've missed it. I suppose I stuck with it because I was hoping it would somehow retain some camp value, but alas, no go. Boo. Hiss.



    I watched The Canyons too (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sat May 14, 2016 at 12:50:38 PM EST
    All around bad film :) We watched High Rise last night, disturbing bizarre tweeky take on social breakdown and capitalism. Still feel disturbed by it today.

    i agree!! (none / 0) (#12)
    by linea on Wed May 11, 2016 at 10:17:51 PM EST
    i liked annie hall.  i hate whatever movie he made in black and white; don't do that.

    i never understood the personal attacks on woody allan. he never held himself out as a role model and i dont know of anything he ever said or did that would allow anyone to label him a hipocrite. but what do i know.

    "Annie Hall" was awesome. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed May 11, 2016 at 11:28:07 PM EST
    But personally, I consider "Manhattan" -- which was filmed in B/W (sorry!) -- to be Woody Allen's best and most complete film. I think his best comedy is "Sleeper" although "Love and Death," which effectively parodies Tolstoy and 19th century Russian literature, is probably my favorite in that category. But my wife begs to differ, and says that "Hannah and Her Sisters" is his best film, not to mention her own favorite.

    i agree but (none / 0) (#16)
    by linea on Thu May 12, 2016 at 01:07:24 AM EST
    i simply cant watch black and white movies.  i freaked seeing Oz the Great and Powerful cuz it was b/w but then it went to color which is what the original did too i believe.  great movie by the way. {smile}

    i havent seen all his movies. some are hard to watch cuz he tends to be overly self-reflecting when he should be engaging emotionally with others.  but that's just how i feel.


    Allen has had a few misfires. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 12, 2016 at 04:50:09 AM EST
    One film that got rave reviews from some quarters but which I find painfully bleak and thoroughly depressing, to the point that it's almost unwatchable, is "Interiors," Allen's first attempt at straight drama (and the first of his films in which he is not onscreen) where he tried to out-Bergman his idol, acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman.

    It's an extraordinarily well-acted effort with a stellar cast that includes Diane Keaton, E.G. Marshall, Geraldine Page and Maureen Stapleton, but the subject matter is such that it's advisable to first hide the opioids and razor blades before you watch it. It's a relentless downer, and has a decade's worth of angst and emotional trauma.



    I was mentally replying and was going to bring up (none / 0) (#24)
    by ruffian on Thu May 12, 2016 at 12:12:39 PM EST
    Hannah and Her Sisters...then I got to the end of you post and saw your wife shares my impeccable taste :-)  That is one of my all time favorite films. Dang near perfect.