While there are plenty of interviews with the Coens to dive into this week as their new film “Hail, Caesar!” hits theaters, it’s also a good time to dip into the archives, and that’s just what the folks at The Film Society of Lincoln Center have done. They posted a 2011 talk between the sibling directors and Noah Baumbach, and as you would expect, the chat was a fascinating one.
The conversation covered a wide range of topics, from filmmaking itself, opening shots of their careers, and more, with lots of interesting little insights. For example, the Coens consider “Burn After Reading” their version of a Tony Scott film.
“We discussed Tony Scott a lot,” Ethan said. “[It’s one of his films] except the people are knuckleheads…Constantly on the set with Chivo we would say ‘What would Tony do?’
“We thought, ‘Well, we’ll never do a movie that starts starts with a little clacking teletype letters coming up that say CIA Headquarters, Langley Virginia,’ but then we thought ‘Well, why not?’ Beyond that, the desire is to really take it on and do it, but it’s also a subversion,” Joel added.
Meanwhile, they also shared the influence of “The Third Man” on “The Big Lebowski.”
“[‘Lebowski’] was a case where we were specifically thinking about “The Third Man” where you have the narrator, you don’t know who the hell he is, who actually never makes an appearance in the movie. In our movie he’s sort of a floater,” Joel said.
There’s lots more to dig into, so sit back and listen to the full talk below.