Raising Arizona

Note: This post discusses plot details of The Words but nothing that really requires you to have seen the film, which doesn’t necessarily have spoiler-able elements anyway.  There are no tonal similarities between The Words and a Coen brothers film. And most of the laughter heard at the screening I attended was a kind of awkward response to some very cheesy dialogue. But I couldn’t help thinking of Raising Arizona while watching the new drama, which was written and directed by Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. The duo previously contributed to what became the finished script for Tron: Legacy, and with this their only second produced work, it’s already obvious they’re very interested in ideas pertaining to creators and their creations. In fact, just as with the Tron sequel, we can forget about any kind of emotional engagement with The Words. It’s a film concerned with players rather than people, and the objective is to get us thinking about certain concepts rather than caring what happens to the characters. One idea consistently addressed through metaphoric association is this: creative works are like children, and plagiarism is therefore like kidnapping.


Filmmaking Tips from The Coen Brothers

There are a lot of stories about colleagues and reporters asking Joel and Ethan Coen questions only to get the same exact answer from both (or to get one finishing the other’s sentence), so it seems at least plausible that they’d both agree on all these tips – no matter which brother they came from. Joel Coen got his start as an assistant editor on Fear No Evil and The Evil Dead. He and his brother then partnered for their first movie without the word “evil” in the title, Blood Simple., which rightly launched them to prominence where they’d go on to craft Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, countless other modern classics and a trophy case for all their awards. All of this fulfilled a childhood dream of making movies that started with a Super 8 camera and a hobby of remaking what they saw on television. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from two young masters who think exactly alike.


Robert Levin takes aim at the popular hobby of hating Nic Cage and asks that we appreciate great trash.



Upon my rise from the depths of slumber this morning, I was greeted with a few options: (a) take a shower and eat breakfast like a normal person or (b) check Twitter and see what has been going on for the past 9 hours. I chose the latter, as I always do.

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published: 12.23.2014
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