Dave van Ronk

Being chosen as the star of a new Coen brothers movie is kind of an honor. When you become a Coen headliner you join the ranks of huge names like Nic Cage, Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, and Tom Hanks. Just look what it did for the careers of guys like William H. Macy after he starred in Fargo or Josh Brolin after he starred in No Country for Old Men. One good performance in the lead of a Coen brothers movie can be your ticket to the top. So it had to be very exciting news for Oscar Isaac when he found out that he scored the lead role in the brothers’ next movie Inside Llewyn Davis. Or not — maybe he’s a cold, cold man. Isaac isn’t an incredibly well known actor as of yet, but he’s had a good amount of work. Most recently he’s appeared in things like Sucker Punch and Drive, and soon he will be showing up in a high profile role in The Bourne Legacy. So far I don’t know what to think about him from the little I’ve seen. I thought he did a fine job in Drive, but he seemed to me to be far too hammy in Sucker Punch. Just the act of being cast as a Coen lead gives me faith that this guy has the chops to become something big though. I have total faith in those two weirdos, and acting under their assured directing hands should bring out […]


The last film we got from legendary directorial team Joel and Ethan Coen, 2010’s remake of True Grit, was one of their most successful yet. This time it wasn’t just film nerds heading out to the theater to see what the brothers had up their sleeves, they managed to pull in a large chunk of the mainstream audience as well. So it is with bated breath that we have been awaiting an announcement regarding their follow up. Wait no longer, because today Variety hit us with not only a title of their new film, but also some confirmation on what it’s going to be all about. There have been rumors that the Coens were looking to make a movie that dealt with folk music for a while now, and this next project appears to be it. The film is titled Inside Llewyn Davis, and it’s a fictionalized account of a popular folk singer coming up in the Greenwich Village scene of the 1960s. Well, actually there is word that the character is loosely based on the career of real life folk artist Dave Van Ronk, but when the Coens and the phrase “loosely based” get together, the material they end up presenting usually is so much their own that you could have called it pure fiction and no one would have noticed anyway. There are not yet any rumblings on potential casting, but as with all things Coen brothers, I’ll be eagerly awaiting word. Or we could just start a […]


Constantly working. Always interesting. The Coen Brothers are creating at a Woody Allen-esque pace, and their next project is apparently going to focus on the Greenwich Village folk scene with its unwashed masses of poets, creatives, and crazies. Instead of Bob Dylan (who could totally still play himself), the writer/director/producers will tell the tale of Dave van Ronk. According to 24 Frames, the script will come partially with help and inspiration from van Ronk’s memoirs, titled “The Mayor of MacDougal Street.” The New York native stood at the threshhold between old timey music and a new wave of sonic stylings – playing unbelievable blues style guitar, improving in a modern way, but always exuding an air that came from the past. His stoneware jug filled with hooch sitting on stage helped. Telling his story no doubt leaves room for cameos from notables like Joni Mitchell and Dylan, but van Ronk was in the middle of a movement that extended beyond music, past politics, and into the streets. It could be a hell of a project. In an unrelated note, that brings us to Day 459 in the Search For the Missing Coen Adaptation of “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.” Of course, they might just be making it and several other movies all at the same time. They could teach Malick a thing or too about scheduling.

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published: 12.23.2014
published: 12.22.2014
published: 12.19.2014

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