While I’ve never not been interested in what the Coen Brothers would be doing next, I can say I’m particularly intrigued by what kind of film they’ll be producing to follow up True Grit. The accessible but excellent Western was by far their biggest commercial hit, and a decided turn from the trilogy of upbeat bleakness and cynicism that came before it. Now it seems the Coens will be taking this opportunity of being at the most empowered moment of their career and diving into the Greenwich Village 1960s New York folk music scene.
Small hints and bits have escaped about the film before today’s break from Variety, but now we know that the film will be called Inside Llewyn Davis and will rejoin mega-producer Scott Rudin (True Grit, Social Network) with the brothers. The central character is said to be based on the “Uncle of the Coffeehouse Scene,” Dave van Ronk, who was present amidst a creatively and politically tumultuous time that saw single-instrument folk music come into style. This time and place in New York was ground zero for a musical tempest from which the likes of Bob Dylan emerged, and it was also the center of the Stonewall Riots in which homosexuals rioted in response to police oppression. Widely seen as the sort of “shot heard round the world” for gay rights, this is the point at which the modern homosexual advocacy groups began. Van Ronk was one of the many arrested during the riots.
How much of all that will play into this original story remains to be seen– the Coens have drafted an original script that pulls together details from van Ronk’s memoir, as well as a backdrop of musical performances that will apparently be recorded live. There’s not yet details about casting or shoot dates.
I have no doubt a musically-rich folk biopic from the Coens will very much be something new and novel, but you have only to look at O Brother to remember how much of a talent these boys have for assembling a universe and making an esoteric genre suddenly widely appealing. I’m excited to hear more, and if this is the project the brothers have chosen to ride their post-$250m wave of success, then I’m excited to see it.
How about you? twitter, comments, boards — spit it out!
(addtn. source: LA Times)