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Barton Fink

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ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 1993 | By Steven Rea, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
John Turturro, the actor whose wiry intensity and absolute craftsmanship have been utilized to great effect by filmmakers Spike Lee and Joel and Ethan Coen (including the title role in the Coens' much-loved and much-hated Barton Fink), makes his own accomplished directorial debut with Mac. In this strong, deceptively simple and often funny work, Turturro pulls off a deft hat trick: Using a screenplay he wrote with Brandon Cole, Turturro puts himself behind the camera and in front of it - starring as a Queens contractor struggling to build a career as he builds houses in the mid-'50s boom years.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 18, 1991 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Staff Writer
It was February 1989 when John Turturro first got wind of it. Suited up in late-'20s duds, his hair helmeted in Brylcreem and his ears pink as a new piggie's, the actor was at work on the gangster drama Miller's Crossing, essaying the role of Bernie Bernbaum, a weaselly grifter to end all weaselly grifters. It was the first day of shooting on the roiling tommy-gun saga by Joel and Ethan Coen. During a break, Ben Barenholtz, the brothers' longtime executive producer, approached Turturro and asked if Joel and Ethan had discussed an idea they had - a movie they'd like him to star in, a movie called Bart and Fink.
NEWS
August 23, 1991 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
In an age when Hollywood movies have become almost remedial - aimed at an alarmingly low common denominator - Joel and Ethan Coen are striking out in the opposite direction. "Barton Fink" is their latest in a series of increasingly complex pictures, beginning with the spare murder mystery "Blood Simple" and continuing through with the cockeyed "Raising Arizona" and the brooding "Miller's Crossing. " "Barton Fink" is easily the Coens' most challenging picture - a morbid comedy about the perils of the creative process, and of writing for motion pictures in particular.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Unnervingly funny Barton Fink, a tilted look at a high-minded Broadway playwright lured to Hollywood in 1941 to pound out a lowdown wrestling screenplay, belongs to that small but select genre of Screenland Surrealism. Fink ranks with The Day of the Locust (the novella, not the movie) in its allegorical power to evoke Hollywood's eucalyptus eeriness as well as the town's Babylonian bamboozlers. As written, produced and directed by Ethan and Joel Coen (Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing)
NEWS
February 18, 1992 | LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS
Las Vegas oddsmaker Lenny Del Genio has made "Bugsy" and its star, Warren Beatty, even-money favorites for Oscar nominations. Del Genio, whose odds are for publicity only - betting on the Oscars is illegal in the United States - also named as even-money contenders Nick Nolte ("The Prince of Tides") and Anthony Hopkins ("The Silence of the Lambs) for Best Actor; Jodie Foster ("Lambs") for Best Actress; Jonathan Demme ("Lambs") for Best Director; Diane Ladd ("Rambling Rose") and Juliette Lewis ("Cape Fear")
NEWS
May 21, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
If the French understood the concept of graciousness, Madonna certainly would have been named Miss Congeniality at the 44th Cannes Film Festival, which closed last night. Alas, She Who Was Most Photographed got shut out of the awards yesterday. But the jury bestowed its highest honor on another movie from the United States, Barton Fink. For this comic thriller about a New York playwright lured into a Hollywood screenwriting job during the '40s, filmmaker-brothers Joel and Ethan Coen took the Golden Palm.
NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Despite the new (old) setting - the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early '60s - the character Oscar Isaac plays in Inside Llewyn Davis has much in common with many of the sorry souls who populate previous Joel and Ethan Coen affairs. There are shades of Billy Bob Thornton's barbershop sap from The Man Who Wasn't There , of Michael Stuhlbarg's Job-ian loser in A Serious Man , and of John Turturro's playwright-gone-Hollywood-turned-doomed dreamer in Barton Fink . "That's what's so great about Joel and Ethan," says Isaac.
NEWS
March 12, 1999 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
To call Myles Berkowitz's documentary "20 dates" a warts-and-all autobiography would be redundant. The guy is one giant wart - according to his ex-wife, his closest friends, his teachers, the women he dates, and himself. It is this last part that makes Berkowitz tolerable, and makes it possible to laugh at things that occur in "20 Dates," billed as the filmmaker's true-life attempt to find true love on 20 blind dates in Los Angeles. He begins the movie by describing his failed attempts at filmmaking and marriage, then announces his intention to combine these two failures into one giant disaster - a filmed account of his interaction with women.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 22, 1991 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Staff Writer
Full-page ads are popping up in the Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety, as studios jockey for Oscar nominations to be passed out Feb. 19. ("Toy Soldiers, for your consideration" - honest!) Last week, three major critics' organizations piped in with their awards, and while the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (best picture: Bugsy) and New York Film Critics Circle (The Silence of the Lambs) proved to be as far removed from each other as geography would suggest, a consensus is taking shape.
NEWS
September 18, 1995 | by Lewis Beale, New York Daily News
Just another Brooklyn guy sitting on his stoop shooting the breeze. "Just Do It" Nike T-shirt, shorts, cotton athletic socks. John Turturro is flailing his arms while he talks, his expressive face and gestures punctuating the late-summer day. Turturro may be a movie star, but he looks as if he never left the 'hood. He will never be a classic leading man - the big nose, crooked teeth and Queens accent make that a Hollywood impossibility. But you'd be hard-pressed to name a better character actor.
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NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Despite the new (old) setting - the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early '60s - the character Oscar Isaac plays in Inside Llewyn Davis has much in common with many of the sorry souls who populate previous Joel and Ethan Coen affairs. There are shades of Billy Bob Thornton's barbershop sap from The Man Who Wasn't There , of Michael Stuhlbarg's Job-ian loser in A Serious Man , and of John Turturro's playwright-gone-Hollywood-turned-doomed dreamer in Barton Fink . "That's what's so great about Joel and Ethan," says Isaac.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 16, 2009 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A Serious Man, the Book of Job according to the Coen Brothers, is set to the music of Jefferson Airplane. This unsettling, shaggy, surrealistic pillow of a movie - a mixed bag more funny-strange than ha-ha - goes something like this: There was a man in the land of Minneapolis, circa 1967, whose name was Larry Gopnik. That man was blameless and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil. There were born unto him one son, about to become a bar mitzvah, and one daughter, secretly taking money from Larry's wallet to procure a nose job. His substance was an associate professorship in physics at the university, where he had 7,000 calculations and 500 proofs and was up for tenure, and a tidy suburban split-level with a television antenna unreliably receiving signals of F Troop and from God. It was not Larry's students who were tested; it was Larry, the man of science who cannot explain the mystical tragedies that befell him. He was blackmailed by a student, betrayed by his wife, deceived by his children, and the victim of slander.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 22, 2007 | By Steven Rea INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
Who knew Karen Carpenter was scary? In 1408, a Stephen King spookfest set in a seriously poltergeisted hotel, the clock radio keeps clicking on the same old song. It's the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun," over and over and over. Even when travel writer Mike Enslin (John Cusack) yanks the cord from the wall, the tune keeps playing. It's enough to make you scream. An entertainingly hairy paranormal affair based on a King short story, and directed by Swede-gone-Hollywood Mikael H?fstr?m (the Jennifer Aniston/Clive Owen thriller, Derailed)
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2000 | By Steven Rea, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
A unique conflation - nobody else could have done this, or would have contemplated doing it - of Homer's The Odyssey, Southern-fried bluegrass and gospel, convicts-on-the-lam movies, and The Wizard of Oz (yes, with George Clooney as a pomaded, silver-tongued Dorothy), O Brother, Where Art Thou? finds Joel and Ethan Coen in one of their less serious, but no less poetic modes. Grabbing references from hither and yon (the title is lifted from the Preston Sturges classic Sullivan's Travels; Clooney's gelled coif and jaunty mustache straight from Clark Gable)
NEWS
March 12, 1999 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
To call Myles Berkowitz's documentary "20 dates" a warts-and-all autobiography would be redundant. The guy is one giant wart - according to his ex-wife, his closest friends, his teachers, the women he dates, and himself. It is this last part that makes Berkowitz tolerable, and makes it possible to laugh at things that occur in "20 Dates," billed as the filmmaker's true-life attempt to find true love on 20 blind dates in Los Angeles. He begins the movie by describing his failed attempts at filmmaking and marriage, then announces his intention to combine these two failures into one giant disaster - a filmed account of his interaction with women.
NEWS
February 26, 1999 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
I've been in some pretty nasty hotels. Once, while shaving at a roadside establishment, I noticed a foul smell and felt water dripping on my head. I called the manager and was informed that the toilet in the room above had overflowed. Nasty. But not as nasty as the hotels you see in "Eight Millimeter," where management cares so little about impressing the customer they just go ahead and paint the room black. What is that - the Johnny Cash Suite? If nothing else, "Eight Millimeter" erases the old "Barton Fink" standard for seedy, nightmare hotels.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 1, 1998 | By Carrie Rickey, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
After winning an Olympic medal or Super Bowl, some celebrities head for Disney World. Ethan and Joel Coen collected an Oscar for their Fargo screenplay last March and promptly went bowling. Bowling is the ostensible subject, sport, and metaphor of The Big Lebowski, which opens Friday. Just call it the next colorful stop in the exotic cinematic country known as Coenland. A curious place, Coenland is a destination that rewards the adventurous traveler seeking physical and mental challenges.
NEWS
September 18, 1995 | by Lewis Beale, New York Daily News
Just another Brooklyn guy sitting on his stoop shooting the breeze. "Just Do It" Nike T-shirt, shorts, cotton athletic socks. John Turturro is flailing his arms while he talks, his expressive face and gestures punctuating the late-summer day. Turturro may be a movie star, but he looks as if he never left the 'hood. He will never be a classic leading man - the big nose, crooked teeth and Queens accent make that a Hollywood impossibility. But you'd be hard-pressed to name a better character actor.
NEWS
February 21, 1995 | by Ian Spelling, Special to the Daily News
Rom, Max Grodenchik's character on "Deep Space Nine," is on the rise. In the upcoming episode "Prophet Motive," Rom, who is Quark's brother and Nog's father, finds himself in a most unusual position - in the good graces of Ferengi leader Grand Nagus Zek (Wallace Shawn). "To get a jump on making a profit in the Gamma Quadrant and to determine how best to steer the course of all Ferengi, the Nagus has sought the advice of the aliens in the wormhole," Grodenchik said by phone from his home in Glendale, Calif.
LIVING
April 8, 1994 | By W. Speers, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER This story contains material from the Associated Press, New York Post, New York Times and USA Today
Nirvana is out and Smashing Pumpkins in as the headliner in this summer's fourth annual Lollapalooza tour, which starts July 1 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Also in the lineup - the Beastie Boys, the Breeders, George Clinton and the P-Funk All-Stars, A Tribe Called Quest, L7, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and a group from Japan called the Boredoms, which specializes in "shrieks, gargles, growls . . . " No Philly date has been announced yet, but more stops are promised, and an Electric Factory spokesman said negotiations were underway to bring the tour here.
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