Monday, January 20, 2014

Film: Inside Llewyn Davis. Coen Brothers

A very good film by the Coens and co-produced by Scott Rudin (who I don't think has a bad film to his credit).

Loved the opening shot - a man with a guitar in the spotlight, small stage, people smoking in the audience...A nostalgic statement for the art scene of the 60s...

Oscar Isaac's understated performance (and this coming from a theater actor!) is one of the alluring features of this film. His slightly retro look, expressive presence, facial features that could be associated with opposing qualities, somewhere between sensitivity, integrity or depravity and decay -- definitely an actor with a future. Two great scenes - one, when he performs a very inspired song for a record producer who tells him "there is no money in this"; and the other, when he performs for his senile father. The camera (Bruno Delbonnel) in that latter scene is fascinating! This cinematographer is one heartbreaking story-teller.

Did Van Gogh know he was great even though he was not successful? How does an artist know if he is making great art or if he should just quit because he sucks. How does he know if he can't even get to an audience... And he can't get to an audience because there is always a "middle man." There is always someone who thinks he "knows" if "there is money in it" and who decides the fate of art. Someone - who owns the pub, the stage, the label, or the studio. And, of course, there is always someone hungry - literally and metaphysically, someone desperate to make art, desperate to get on that stage, unable to quit.

Thankfully, there are artists like the Coens who can afford to make films like "Inside Llewyn Davis".

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