Monday, January 09, 2012


Three summers ago (Could it possibly have been that long?) saw the release of Quentin Tarantino’s raucous, historically impudent Inglourious Basterds. To commemorate what turned out to be a true cinematic event, and to assure our place in the national water-cooler discussion that ensued, I joined forces with Bill Ryan, he of the renowned and intelligent blog The Kind of Face You Hate, and spent a week trading long e-mails on the subject of the movie and the controversy it stirred. We posted those e-mails both here and on Bill’s site-- as I recall some pretty big names got involved in the back and forth— and it was an incredible amount of fun processing the experience in this way.

Well, a few weeks ago Bill and I and lots of other folks got into a Facebook discussion about the Coen Brothers, inspired by a recent viewing of O Brother Where Art Thou, and eventually the spotlight turned to the filmmakers’ 2001 release The Man Who Wasn’t There, a movie that isn’t often brought up when one finds oneself in discussions revolving around one’s favorite Coen Brothers movie. Both Bill and I admitted that we loved the movie and found it fascinating, even after admitting that we weren’t sure we could put our fingers on exactly why. So I suggested we do another back-and-forth for our respective blogs on the topic of the movie (and, it seems inevitable, the Coen Brothers in general) to see if we could better understand our attraction to a movie that hasn’t generated anything near Lebowski-sized love. And the time for that discussion has come.

Starting Wednesday (just enough time to watch the movie again), Bill and I will trade observations about The Man Who Wasn’t There and post our exchange on both blogs. The conversation is scheduled to last Wednesday through Friday, January 11 through 13, but if the spirit moves us (and those of you who wish to chime in on the comments thread) it could go longer. (Or maybe it’ll peter out after a couple of posts if the discussion doesn’t move far beyond “Gee, this movie is great!”) However it shapes up, it should be fun to dig into one of the Coen Brothers’ least-hashed-over movies, one that certainly deserves some hashing. Remember: It all starts Wednesday, January 11, right here at SLIFR and at The Kind of Face You Hate.



Robert Fiore said...

I always thought that The Man Who Wasn't There would have been better if Steve Martin had played the Thornton part.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

That movie was called Pennies from Heaven.

Robert Fiore said...

Bob Hoskins was in Mona Lisa after he was in The Long Good Friday, wasn't he?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Yeah, I think Mona Lisa came five or six years or so after The Long Good Friday.