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I just saw this movie for the first time on IFC. I think I missed the point about the burning hotel and the "heil Hitler" reference. Anybody know what the movie was really about? I know there is more to it than selling out and writer's block.
 

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I think it's predominantly about writers block, and the artists vision about how he was a voice for the common man, when in fact he was so totally removed from the experience of the common man that he couldn't really relate at all. It's pretty harsh on all the characters in the film. No one really winds up looking good. I do love this film regardless, a lot of clever dialog and funny characterizations make it my favorite Coen Brothers film. As for the Heil Hitler reference, it is set during a time in which Hitler was wildly popular with the common man in Germany. In the end it shows a world where people don't relate well at all with one another, and lead pretty insular lives despite what they think of themselves. I don't know if that's an intended message or anything, I think you hit it more closely with the writers bloc/selling out thing, but the world they show certainly has little real communication between its inhabitants.
 

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I think one of the biggest themes was hypocrisy. Not only was the writer out of touch with the common man but he wouldn't shut up long enough to let him talk. In the end we see that Goodman's character, who represents the common man, is really capable of some gruesome things, and maybe that's what the common man is. The writer's refusal to open the package at the end and deny reality even though he knew what was inside was ultimately what broke his writer's block. So maybe all writing is a form of delusion as we consciously deny reality.


Great movie with a lot themes that certainly doesn't hand you anything.
 

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A typical Coen Brothers gimmick: Throw in a lot of nonsensical stuff and watch the high brow critics try to interpret it...while the Bros laugh their a** off.

BF is a great flick, and chock full of their inside joke humor.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Karnis
A typical Coen Brothers gimmick: Throw in a lot of nonsensical stuff and watch the high brow critics try to interpret it...while the Bros laugh their a** off.

BF is a great flick, and chock full of their inside joke humor.
I dunno, even if that's largely the case, and I certainly don't think it's The Seventh Seal or anything, something was probably going through their minds as they wrote it. As you point out, determining what it may have been is not necessary to enjoy the movie though. I personally have never thought about it that hard!
 

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Bear in mind I wasn't referring to the entire movie, it certainly does deal with writers' block and also demonstrates their "fondness" for the Hollywood machine. But a lot of the "peripheral" stuff in BF does fall into the category mentioned above.

Like, what does the seagull at the very end really mean?!?! ;)
 

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The life of the mind, I'll show you the life of the mind
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Karnis
Bear in mind I wasn't referring to the entire movie, it certainly does deal with writers' block and also demonstrates their "fondness" for the Hollywood machine. But a lot of the "peripheral" stuff in BF does fall into the category mentioned above.

Like, what does the seagull at the very end really mean?!?! ;)
I think you're probably right. Actually, I've done this myself. I once wrote a song with purposely pretentious stream-of-conciousness lyrics that mean nothing, and I have people come up all the time and tell me how they knew exactly what I meant and how they could relate to it. I feel like saying, well explain it to me then! :D But, one or two lines in the song do mean something to me, and if they want to find some picture in the inkblot that's OK with me too. The Coens don't seem above making a film odd just for the purity of being odd.
 
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