Film Junk Premium Podcast #47: The Coen Brothers


Over thirty years of beautiful filmmaking… you’re goddamn right we’re living in the past. The release of Hail, Caesar! last month served as the inspiration for us to revisit the films of The Coen Brothers for our latest premium podcast, but rather than do a “Greatest Hits”-type episode, we opted to simply cover their first seven films from Blood Simple to The Big Lebowski (which, let’s face it, includes plenty of greatest hits anyway). On this episode we discuss a variety of things including their love of film noir, their influence on the indie film boom of the ’90s, the music of Carter Burwell and the cinematography of both Barry Sonnenfeld and Roger Deakins. Why did Ethan Coen not get credited as a director on their early films? Is the main character in Miller’s Crossing gay? What does the hula hoop symbolize in The Hudsucker Proxy? Is the cult of The Big Lebowski a bane or a boon? Enjoy a fountain of conversation by downloading this month’s premium podcast below.

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

Around the Web:

  • Jr

    I’m older than all of you and Jay is right about the Dr. Spock book joke. If it was about the book they would have said “book” but the joke is that they refer to it as a manual, thus the baby is something that needs instructions. If the movie were made today perhaps they would use a more contemporary book but even people today know about the Dr. Spock book.

  • Sam

    Likely my most anticipated premium. Coen Brothers are to me as Tarantino is to Frank. Half way through and great so far.

  • devolutionary

    I find that Frank’s contrarian views on certain directors are often quite interesting. My major problem is that he doesn’t consistently explain himself well or often misremembers prior talking points. His own rules on series cred, VOD trash, COPO,etc. are so subjective that I can only use them for humour.
    As a teenager, I distinctly remember enjoying Big Lebowski in the theatre for comedy but recall that few did (were they expecting Raising Arizona?). Then again their satire, tone, and dry humour perfectly aligned w/ me even then.

  • Samb

    Agreed (age: 49). Sorry Frank, it’s all about a baby needing instructions. The Spock book was already a generation old by the time the movie was made. The joke works because everyone was familiar with the book, but the familiarity of the book isn’t the joke.

  • Tommy

    Remember that Marcia Gay Harden got Gabriel Byrne’s hat in the poker game, so ‘chasing after a hat’ led to the affair.

  • Andrija

    While Sean is trying to deconstruct and analyze these films, Frank chimes in with some really insightful opinions: “Okay Jay, why is this a four point five instead of a five?”.

  • Lori Cerny

    Agreed (age: 48).

  • Paul White

    Something seems to be missing from my download. The first file is only 8:28 and doesn’t contain much discussion at all about Raising Arizona, then the second file starts off with Blood Simple. Anyone else have this issue? I d/l’d the MP3 320 version.

  • Kenneth Serenyi

    Barton Fink is part of one of the Coen Brothers Blu-Ray box sets which I’m seriously thinking about getting after this podcast – although from the comments it’s unclear whether all of the discs will play on North American players.

  • Loren

    Was curious why there is tax now when purchasing the premium?

  • Loren

    figured it out.. it’s because im using my VPN..duh

  • Sam

    I’m not sure if it’s the same disc that comes in the standalone that Sean owns, but I own it as well and that works fine my players. But I’m the crowd that feels the quality isn’t great. I really wish the rumored Criterion release from a couple years back would hurry it up. Barton Fink is one of my favorites of all time

  • Tommy

    A little disappointed at the lack of Coen puns. Nobody said they were a real COENhead.

  • Nick Poliskey

    Excited to listen, but need to start more controversy. I only think Lebowski is half-brilliant. The first half is truly brilliant, but the movie takes a nose-dive for me as soon as Julianne Moore shows up. I can watch the 1st half over and over and over again, but that second half is a force-feed for sure. The only genuinely funny stuff in the 2nd half of the movie are Donnie scenes.

  • Essie

    My favorite thing about Frank is that his measurement for everything is based on Tarantino and Nolan. Vod films get a free pass because Bone Tomahawk is better than Hateful Eight.

    Coens are my favorite American filmmakers maybe. This was great. Thank you all very much.

  • Jr

    Good show. For the next premium I say go ahead and do Coen Bros. part 2. A Serious Man and No Country are my two favorites by them.

  • Derek

    Just a suggestion for the next Premium: I’ve posted this on the Film Junk subreddit, but I wouldn’t mind the guys finding a copy of the old Movie Review Show in which they watched some classic Disney cartoons (The old clamshell VHS). April is coming up and it has been an April Fools tradition these past two years…

  • traynor

    Did you guys mention how the fight in the interior of a single wide trailer in Kill Bill is a total rip off of the one in Raising Arizona?

  • Sean

    I don’t think so but that’s a good one as well.