There are several things to enjoy and explore about this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, an issue centered around the Western. Timed between two of the best releases of the year, the Coens’ No Country For Old Men and Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, the cover goes to fantastic Blood star Daniel Day-Lewis.
He’s given the profile treatment by Lynn Hirschberg, anchoring a magazine that includes a thoughtful essay by critic A.O. Scott, an industry history by UT film professor Tom Schatz, a technology context by columnist Virginia Heffernan, and there’s tons more where that came from.
It’s a tough call for such a great issue, but my favorite aspect of this week’s issue is probably the photo spread featuring familiar faces from the Coens canon. Photographer Finlay McKay walks through several iconic Coens regulars, given a 2007 update, including John Turturro, Jeff Bridges, Jon Polito, Steve Buscemi, Tim Blake Nelson, Julianne Moore, Holly Hunter, and more. The motif? Intentional or not, the characters on display represent the “Western” Coens films.
No Fargo. No O Brother Where Art Thou? No Hudsucker Proxy. This photo essay is all Big Lebowski (L.A.), Raising Arizona (nuff said), Barton Fink (Hollywood), and No Country For Old Men (West Texas). A pretty flawless execution, but, where is Blood Simple in all this? Did John Getz and Dan Hedaya really have something better to do?