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Barton Fink [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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John Turturro stars in this drama by the Coen brothers. Young playwright Barton Fink (Turturro), determined to become a success, travels to Hollywood where he immediately obtains a contract, only to develop writer's block when he discovers he is to write a wrestling movie for a faded 40s star. The Los Angeles heat, his dingy hotel and a noisy neighbour (John Goodman) combine to increase the pressure on him, and Barton begins to lose his grip on reality.
A darkly comic ride, this intense and original 1991 offering from the Coen brothers (Fargo, Blood Simple) gleefully attacks the Hollywood system and those who seek to sell out to it, portraying the writer's suffering as a loony vision of hell. John Turturro (Miller's Crossing, Jungle Fever) plays the title character, a pretentious left-wing writer from New York City who is brought to 1930s Hollywood to write a script for a wrestling movie for palooka actor Wallace Beery. Fink thinks the job is beneath him, but his desire for acceptance gets the better of him, and he suddenly finds himself holed up in a fleabag hotel in Los Angeles, where he is almost immediately afflicted with writer's block. Various distractions begin to enter his life, first in the form of a famous southern writer (John Mahoney) whom Fink idolises, and then his neighbour in the hotel, a seemingly amiable salesman played by John Goodman (Sea of Love, Raising Arizona). The writer turns out to be a self-loathing drunk whose secretary (Judy Davis) is the one actually doing the writing. And the neighbour, the working-class hero who Fink made his reputation writing about, may have a horrifying secret of his own. Equal parts social commentary and hilarious farce, and winner of the Best Picture, Actor, and Director prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, Barton Fink is a visionary and original comic masterpiece not to be missed. --Robert Lane --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Writing a script about a screenwriter by taking a satiric look at Hollywood seems a great Coenistic idea, just like their other brilliance, "Hudsucker Proxy". Set in early 1940s, the story centers around a commie writer's living Hell on Earth after being paralyzed by writer's block in a bizarre hotel room in California. He's a sinner and must be punished, because he let down the "common man". Instead of staying in NY and assisting the Theatre, he moved to Hollywood in order to make a buck by writing clichéd screenplays for B-grade wrestling flicks for greedy and blustery Hollywood hotshots. Yes, he's a sinner and must be condemned to Hell, Hotel Earle.
The film tries to find its own answer to this question: does any creative, non-commercial art like literature or drama provide individual and/or societal enlightenment, or does it produce entanglement ultimately leading to solipsism, egocentricity and self-absorption?Read more ›
Barton Fink (Turturro) is a serious and critically-acclaimed playwright in 1940s New York. Having come to the attention of a Hollywood movie mogul, he is lured to Los Angeles to write for the movies. Finding himself contracted to write a "wrestling" film, Fink is tormented by writer's block and seeks help from another writer's secretary (Judy Davis). Lodged in the eerie Hotel Earle, with its dim lighting, peeling wallpaper and eccentric plumbing system, Fink also encounters his neighbour, insurance-seller Charlie Meadows (Goodman). Despite passionately espousing the virtues of theatre for and about "the common man", Fink's lack of interest in his neighbour's own stories about working life has disturbing consequences. It is the heightened drama in Fink's own life that finally gives him the impetus he needs to write again.
It is the Coen Brothers' characteristic wry, ironic sense of humour and quirky style, together with Turturro's intense brooding performance as Fink often captured in long takes and periods of silence, which makes watching this film a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Lipnick as played by Michael Lerber is the classic studio boss taken to the extreme. Both terrifying in his power and very funny. A truly mesmerising performance by Lerner. However the cast are all excellent. John Mahoney is also great as W.P. Mayhew a famous Hollywood writer that Barton looks to for help. As it turns out he is a roaring drunk and his wife actually does most of the writing. The scenes involving Mayhew are hilarious. A lot of the time he is not even in shot but you can hear him screaming in the background (for example "Honey! Where's my honey?") as Barton tries to arrange a meeting with him through his wife.
And then there is John Goodman. He plays Charlie Meadows ostensibly an insurance salesman staying in a room near Barton in the same hotel. However Meadows is not what he seems, but I'll leave it up to you to decide what he really is..... Goodman as he was in The Big Lebowski is in scene stealing form.
So this is a typical Coen brothers movie, very funny in places, very weird in places, and overall superb.
This won several major awards, such as an unprecedented three awards at Cannes- so I can't see how this is 'undervalued'- a tag which is more suited to The Hudsucker Proxy or Lebowksi. Coen's regular John Turturro is the eponymous hero- a writer not dissimilar to Clifford Odets (Waiting for Lefty), who has a romanticised theory of the working classes, which was in vogue in the 30's/40s, pre-McCarthy. He is offered the chance to go & write scripts in Hollywood- making one think of such luminaries as Raymond Chandler, William Faulkner & Nathaniel West, who all did the same...
Fink checks into a hotel, populated by the seemingly unsleeping Chet (Steve Buscemi), mosquitos, thin walls, falling wallpaper & a bizarre insurance salesman (John Goodman). He also enters the equally absurd world of Hollywood- where he is commisioned to write a wrestling flick; it is here he begins to experience writer's block. A guy from the studio suggests he talk to another writer, enter John Mahoney as a soused scribe & his 'secretary', Judy Davis. Then Fink wakes up to the best 'corpse in a bed'-scene since The Godfather and then some cops appear, asking about headless corpses & if Fink knows anything about it...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great attention to detail. Mysterious, and with a strong sense of the ridiculous wrapped up in the Coen brothers' amazing talents.Published 6 months ago by larni
Mystified as to why this was a success. Technically maladroit and with a script that left a lot to the imagination, I really wanted my money back for this one.Published 7 months ago by Dan Smith
A well-written Coen satire on Hollywood with two good leads John Turturro and John Goodman, but remains to be one of their bizarre films.Published 13 months ago by josh91
This is a pretty good early Coen Brothers movie, although I wouldn't say its brilliant but its worth wacthing, the later Coen brothers movies are the best I reckon especially... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mr. Joel S. Greenhalgh