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By Lou Cedrone | September 20, 1991
''Barton Fink'' is a mixture of the comic, bizarre and the sick, a melange that doesn't really work.The film, done by the Coen Brothers (it was directed by Joel Coen and written by Joel and his brother Ethan), begins as a slow but subtly comic tale about a playwright who is summoned to Hollywood in 1941.When he gets there, he takes a room in a shabby hotel where his neighbor is a burly individual who takes to the newcomer.Something, however, is not right. We can feel it. The sounds coming from the other rooms, the peeling wallpaper and the hall that looks as though it was designed by Salvador Dali, combine to let us know that all is not well in this hotel.
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By Newsday | April 14, 2005
Among the most memorable of a new generation of actors to emerge in the 1980s, John Turturro is probably best loved by frequent viewers of Coen brothers comedies and Spike Lee's films, which always seem to conjure up the native New Yorker in the unlikeliest ways (as the voice of the serial killer's dog in Summer of Sam, as a mob kingpin in the recent She Hate Me). But lately, the actor has had other things on his mind. Last year, Turturro, 48, took a break to helm the musical Romance and Cigarettes (his third as a director)
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | September 20, 1991
After seeing "Barton Fink," I think I finally understand why the brothers Coen spell their name without an H: These boys have pretensions.The latest film by Ethan (he co-writes and produces) and Joel (he co-writes and directs) is so packed with allusions (to the Bible, to other movies and to literature) and is so artfully shot (walls that threaten to come to life, a down-the-drain shot that becomes a vortex into a skewed universe and a framed photograph into which the movie itself finally disappears)
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | June 15, 2001
Whether it's "Gone With the Wind" or "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," a vivid movie adaptation of a book can affect how you read it forever after. But when you see Robert Redford act as wooden as his bat in the movie version of "The Natural," he's too weak to get in the way of the reading experience: He makes going back to Bernard Malamud's little-known first novel a relief as well as a delight. Hence, the "Natural" rule: When adaptations fail as drama, they can best serve as prods for rediscovering the original book.
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By Lou Cedrone | September 19, 1991
* ''Barton Fink'' John Turturro is a playwright who goes to Hollywood, finds a room in a seedy hotel and sees his life turn into a horror movie.* ''Late for Dinner'' Two young men, frozen for 29 years, return to their home town, hoping to pick up the pieces. A romantic comedy.* ''Livin' Large'' A farce in which a young man, eager to make it as an on-air personality, is willing to sell his soul. Michael Schultz directed.
FEATURES
By James Endrst and James Endrst,Hartford Courant | April 19, 1995
Here a Turturro, there a Turturro, everywhere, it seems, there's a Turturro.They might not be the Barrymores. Or even the Baldwins.And yet, as one producer puts it, it's as if the Turturro family is "eating up Hollywood."To date, actor-director John Turturro ("Quiz Show" and "Barton Fink") has been the most successful and best-known member of the Turturro troupe. But the TV Turturros are coming up fast.John's brother Nicholas, who plays Det. James Martinez on ABC's "NYPD Blue," has been raising his profile on prime-time's top cop show this year and as one of the stars of the feature film "Federal Hill."
FEATURES
March 24, 1992
Jack Palance is a better than 2-to-1 favorite for this year's Academy Award for best supporting actor, in the opinion of callers to SUNDIAL. His portrayal of the crusty Curly in ''City Slickers'' earned him 102 votes.Tommy Lee Jones ("JFK") was a distant second with 42 votes, followed by Ben Kingsley ("Bugsy") with 13 votes, Michael Lerner ("Barton Fink") with 13 and Harvey Keitel ("Bugsy") with just seven votes."It's Your Call" represents a sampling of opinions from certain segments of the community, but it is not balanced demographically as would be done in a scientific public opinion poll.
FEATURES
By Michael H. Price and Michael H. Price,FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM | October 17, 1997
Franz Kafka, that great journalist of alienation, did not write Tom DiCillo's "Box of Moonlight," but DiCillo cites Kafka as an inspiration. "Box of Moonlight" captures that Kafkaesque spirit better than any movie since "Barton Fink" (1992), the Coen brothers' epic encounter with writer's block. "Moonlight" is a thrill-ride designed for the intellect.Coincidentally, the star of "Barton Fink," John Turturro, plays the lead in "Box of Moonlight," too. He's more of an ordinary guy here -- an arrogant businessman, instead of "Fink's" playwright -- but mundane weirdness stalks him at every turn.
FEATURES
By Bob Strauss and Bob Strauss,Los Angeles Daily News | September 19, 1991
THERE'S NO GETTING around it," Ethan Coen acknowledged. "We make kind of strange movies."Call Ethan, 33, and brother Joel, 36, surrealist realists. Their four feature films -- "Blood Simple," "Raising Arizona," "Miller's Crossing" and the new "Barton Fink" -- are considered bizarre, arty affairs by press, public and the Hollywood establishment alike. Yet they're arguably the best-respected independent filmmakers in the country; so much so that their last three movies were eagerly snapped up by a mainline commercial distributor, 20th Century Fox.In an industry that deifies explicit storytelling and lowest-common-denominator appeal, the Coens' work remains independent, genre-bending and elusive.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 8, 1994
"The Hudsucker Proxy" is really the Capra proxy. It's a parody of -- and tribute to -- those Frank Capra populist fables of common men triumphing over the powers of Big Eastern corruption, such as "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" or "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."But it's not straight nostalgia: The film has enough trademark Coen Brothers weirdness to it to give it a life beyond mere reiteration of what has vanished. It's as if those zany guys -- "Barton Fink" was their last epic of industrial-strength strangeness -- took a number of Capra themes (and themes from Preston Sturges as well as visual motifs from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis")
FEATURES
By CHICAGO TRIBUNE | May 13, 1999
CANNES, France -- Cannes, the queen of the international film festivals, has not been very kind to American suitors this year. And some of them, including Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, are unhappy about it.This year, only two official U.S. entries are even in competition for the last Cannes Palme d'Or (or Grand Prize) of the 20th century. When the black-tie crowds gather for the competition screenings at the world's swankiest movie theater,the glittering Palais du Cinema, they'll have only a handful of Yanks to cheer on. After a stretch in the late '80s and early '90s when the U.S. regularly took home the top prize -- with winners such as 1989's "sex.
FEATURES
By Michael H. Price and Michael H. Price,FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM | October 17, 1997
Franz Kafka, that great journalist of alienation, did not write Tom DiCillo's "Box of Moonlight," but DiCillo cites Kafka as an inspiration. "Box of Moonlight" captures that Kafkaesque spirit better than any movie since "Barton Fink" (1992), the Coen brothers' epic encounter with writer's block. "Moonlight" is a thrill-ride designed for the intellect.Coincidentally, the star of "Barton Fink," John Turturro, plays the lead in "Box of Moonlight," too. He's more of an ordinary guy here -- an arrogant businessman, instead of "Fink's" playwright -- but mundane weirdness stalks him at every turn.
FEATURES
By James Endrst and James Endrst,Hartford Courant | April 19, 1995
Here a Turturro, there a Turturro, everywhere, it seems, there's a Turturro.They might not be the Barrymores. Or even the Baldwins.And yet, as one producer puts it, it's as if the Turturro family is "eating up Hollywood."To date, actor-director John Turturro ("Quiz Show" and "Barton Fink") has been the most successful and best-known member of the Turturro troupe. But the TV Turturros are coming up fast.John's brother Nicholas, who plays Det. James Martinez on ABC's "NYPD Blue," has been raising his profile on prime-time's top cop show this year and as one of the stars of the feature film "Federal Hill."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 8, 1994
"The Hudsucker Proxy" is really the Capra proxy. It's a parody of -- and tribute to -- those Frank Capra populist fables of common men triumphing over the powers of Big Eastern corruption, such as "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" or "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town."But it's not straight nostalgia: The film has enough trademark Coen Brothers weirdness to it to give it a life beyond mere reiteration of what has vanished. It's as if those zany guys -- "Barton Fink" was their last epic of industrial-strength strangeness -- took a number of Capra themes (and themes from Preston Sturges as well as visual motifs from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis")
FEATURES
March 24, 1992
Jack Palance is a better than 2-to-1 favorite for this year's Academy Award for best supporting actor, in the opinion of callers to SUNDIAL. His portrayal of the crusty Curly in ''City Slickers'' earned him 102 votes.Tommy Lee Jones ("JFK") was a distant second with 42 votes, followed by Ben Kingsley ("Bugsy") with 13 votes, Michael Lerner ("Barton Fink") with 13 and Harvey Keitel ("Bugsy") with just seven votes."It's Your Call" represents a sampling of opinions from certain segments of the community, but it is not balanced demographically as would be done in a scientific public opinion poll.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler | September 20, 1991
After seeing "Barton Fink," I think I finally understand why the brothers Coen spell their name without an H: These boys have pretensions.The latest film by Ethan (he co-writes and produces) and Joel (he co-writes and directs) is so packed with allusions (to the Bible, to other movies and to literature) and is so artfully shot (walls that threaten to come to life, a down-the-drain shot that becomes a vortex into a skewed universe and a framed photograph into which the movie itself finally disappears)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Newsday | April 14, 2005
Among the most memorable of a new generation of actors to emerge in the 1980s, John Turturro is probably best loved by frequent viewers of Coen brothers comedies and Spike Lee's films, which always seem to conjure up the native New Yorker in the unlikeliest ways (as the voice of the serial killer's dog in Summer of Sam, as a mob kingpin in the recent She Hate Me). But lately, the actor has had other things on his mind. Last year, Turturro, 48, took a break to helm the musical Romance and Cigarettes (his third as a director)
FEATURES
By CHICAGO TRIBUNE | May 13, 1999
CANNES, France -- Cannes, the queen of the international film festivals, has not been very kind to American suitors this year. And some of them, including Miramax's Harvey Weinstein, are unhappy about it.This year, only two official U.S. entries are even in competition for the last Cannes Palme d'Or (or Grand Prize) of the 20th century. When the black-tie crowds gather for the competition screenings at the world's swankiest movie theater,the glittering Palais du Cinema, they'll have only a handful of Yanks to cheer on. After a stretch in the late '80s and early '90s when the U.S. regularly took home the top prize -- with winners such as 1989's "sex.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | September 20, 1991
''Barton Fink'' is a mixture of the comic, bizarre and the sick, a melange that doesn't really work.The film, done by the Coen Brothers (it was directed by Joel Coen and written by Joel and his brother Ethan), begins as a slow but subtly comic tale about a playwright who is summoned to Hollywood in 1941.When he gets there, he takes a room in a shabby hotel where his neighbor is a burly individual who takes to the newcomer.Something, however, is not right. We can feel it. The sounds coming from the other rooms, the peeling wallpaper and the hall that looks as though it was designed by Salvador Dali, combine to let us know that all is not well in this hotel.
FEATURES
By Lou Cedrone | September 19, 1991
* ''Barton Fink'' John Turturro is a playwright who goes to Hollywood, finds a room in a seedy hotel and sees his life turn into a horror movie.* ''Late for Dinner'' Two young men, frozen for 29 years, return to their home town, hoping to pick up the pieces. A romantic comedy.* ''Livin' Large'' A farce in which a young man, eager to make it as an on-air personality, is willing to sell his soul. Michael Schultz directed.
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