The Coen Brothers on ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ and a ‘Barton Fink’ sequel

Joel and Ethan Coen's latest film is the folk-centric "Inside Llewyn Davis." Credit: Getty Images
Joel and Ethan Coen’s latest film is the folk-centric “Inside Llewyn Davis.”
Credit: Getty Images

With “Inside Llewyn Davis,” legendary directors Joel and Ethan Coen return to the New York City of the early 1960s, a place (if not exactly a time) they haven’t visited since “The Hudsucker Proxy” in 1994. They’re not big fans of repeating themselves — though still might have a “Barton Fink” sequel up their sleeves.

You’ve said “Inside Llewyn Davis” might be your last film actually shot on film.

Joel Coen: No, yeah, we don’t know. It’s sort of an evolving thing because we don’t know what we’re doing next, we don’t know where the technology’s going to be at. It’s possible, I guess. Certainly that’s the way the business is going. People are still shooting on film, though. It’s kind of our preference.

It’s interesting how film is becoming a sort of luxury choice for shooting.

JC: You know, honestly, people say that, but I don’t think it’s more expensive because I think that there’s a rule in show business that any savings that could be realized from new technology, the business conspires to absorb those things and make it cost just as much as the old way of doing things. I don’t actually think it’s more economical. There may be other advantages, though.

One thing I noticed, as a longtime fan of “The Hudsucker Proxy,” is that movie took place in the same city maybe a year or two before this one.

Ethan Coen: Yeah, it’s true! Our other New York movie. That’s about the same time. We’ve written another one that takes place in 1962 in New York.

JC: But that’s true, “Hudsucker” was around the same time. But Norville wasn’t going down to the Village. We did have a juice and coffee bar [scene], though. [Laughs]

They’re very different films, stylistically, but it got me thinking about laying your films out chronologically and watching them.

JC: That’s kind of interesting. So what would be the earliest? I guess “True Grit,” then “Miller’s Crossing.” Then “O Brother, [Where Art Thou],” then…

EC: “Barton Fink,” which was 1941.

How much does the decade a story takes place go into the decision-making about a project?

EC: It goes into the identity of the project. It’s not something you kind of consider in isolation from it. You’re thinking about a story and its characters, who occupy a particular setting. So the setting is a time and place. It’s all one big mush.

JC: Yeah, it’s a big mush. But it’s important. It’s part of what stimulates you in terms of thinking about the story.

EC: It’s only the most obvious way to make the point, but you could say it about each of them. “Miller’s Crossing,” they’re characters, kind of gangsters, who would only be there then. The characters wouldn’t make sense in another setting.

And I guess folk singers in New York, there’s a limited time that makes sense.

EC: Yes. [Laughs]

JC: Then, for instance, people are always asking us if we would ever do a sequel to one of our movies, and the only one that has ever been interesting to us is actually doing a movie called “Old Fink,” which would be [Barton] Fink during 1967, the Summer of Love in San Francisco, when he’s older and a professor at Berkeley.

EC: We’re waiting for John Turturro to get old enough. You don’t want to do one of those makeup jobs, you know?

JC: I think he’s getting pretty close.

EC: He is actually getting pretty close.

That has to be a sensitive conversation.

JC: No, no, he’s into [it]. He’s completely into it. I think he’d be fine with it.

EC: Yeah, [Fink] is a horrible person. He, like, sleeps with coeds. He wears a turtleneck and is trying to be hip. We’re going to recruit John Goodman as well. It’s in development.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Bloomberg launches $50 million anti-gun violence effort

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend $50 million on a grassroots anti-gun violence network to challenge the National Rifle Association.

Local

East Village woman fights off rape attempt from…

An East Village woman fought off an attempted rapist that she woke to find standing on her bed over the weekend, police said.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Police look for man suspected of threatening Muslim…

Police seek man suspected of calling a teen Muslim girl a "terrorist" and spitting on her multiple times while on a Queens bus.

The Word

Jenny McCarthy and Donnie Wahlberg are engaged

If Donnie Wahlberg wants to get vaccinated against anything, he should do it soon: he and Jenny McCarthy are engaged, she just announced on "The View."

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Movies

Curtain raiser: The Tribeca Film Festival arrives this…

The Tribeca Film Festival begins its two-week run in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, boasting dozens and dozens of films of all stripes.

Movies

Review: 'Bears' is a cute Disney doc about…

Disney's latest nature doc, "Bears," doesn't completely shy away from the fact that its subjects would devour you (or eachother) if they had the chance.

NHL

Islanders back to rebuilding mode after disappointing season

One season after qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2006-07, the Islanders finished 2013-14 with a 34-37-11 record.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.