June 2010

The Coen Brother's Blood Simple (1984)

For whatever reason, folks love the Coen Brothers’ inaugural feature length film. It’s hard to suss out whether or not people enjoy the film as a film or feel obligated to laude early efforts by the duo, who have unequivocally become one of American film’s cornerstones. Either way, 1984’s Blood Simple is where it all began – and in a part, Sam Raimi coaching the brothers along through financing could be thanked (or taken to task) for enabling the film.

Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers (2005)

It’s difficult to guess at the reasons for various castings and plot points in any movie, but especially in a film drafted and composed by Jim Jarmusch. After just about twenty five years as American cinema’s artsy figurehead, the director and writer amassed a world wide following, but still hadn’t worked up a blockbuster. That’s only because he didn’t want to.

Broken Flowers, Jarmusch’s follow up to Coffee and Cigarettes, moves back towards a narrative form of film even as there’s no proper conclusion to the feature. But casting Bill Murray as the film’s lead speaks to the film’s intent.

Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes (1986-2003)

In reading up about the conception on Jarmusch’s compendium of banality known as 2003’s Coffee and Cirgarettes, some writer off handedly refers to the two main characters in the film: coffee and yes, cigarettes. He goes on to references the fact that each vignette is comprised of a pair (or three folks when the waiter shows up) sitting around talking. In these pairings, Jarmusch must have figured for the on-screen interplay – here a blend – of actors. But what’s funny, apart from the fact that someone thought to frame it that way is that cigarettes are blended tobacco much in the same way beans you might go buy at the store are an assortment of different varieties.

Either way, Coffee and Cigarettes is worth a viewing.

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