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O Brother, Where Art Thou

Related threads:
'O Brother Where Art Thou'!! (81)
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Music from Brother Where Art Thou (27)
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GUEST,JTT 16 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM
Lepus Rex 16 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,JTT 16 Sep 00 - 06:16 PM
GUEST,JTT 16 Sep 00 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,JTT 16 Sep 00 - 06:32 PM
Lepus Rex 16 Sep 00 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,JTT 17 Sep 00 - 06:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Oct 00 - 08:12 PM
BanjoRay 13 Oct 00 - 08:43 PM
Lepus Rex 13 Oct 00 - 11:42 PM
Margaret V 14 Oct 00 - 12:20 AM
Lepus Rex 14 Oct 00 - 12:40 AM
Scabby Douglas 14 Oct 00 - 02:19 PM
JTT 15 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM
katlaughing 24 Nov 00 - 01:07 AM
SeanM 21 Dec 00 - 05:50 PM
Noreen 31 Dec 00 - 08:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Dec 00 - 09:02 AM
Noreen 31 Dec 00 - 09:17 AM
Peg 31 Dec 00 - 12:25 PM
Peter T. 31 Dec 00 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Dec 00 - 01:15 PM
Peter T. 31 Dec 00 - 01:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Dec 00 - 01:50 PM
Peter T. 31 Dec 00 - 02:11 PM
Barbara Shaw 31 Dec 00 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Dec 00 - 04:45 PM
Bat Goddess 31 Dec 00 - 05:44 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 31 Dec 00 - 11:57 PM
Rick Fielding 01 Jan 01 - 12:50 PM
Peter T. 01 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Jan 01 - 02:44 PM
GUEST,Noah Count 01 Jan 01 - 06:34 PM
Erica Smith 03 Jan 01 - 10:44 AM
GUEST,wilbury09@aol.com 03 Jan 01 - 08:29 PM
Lonesome Gillette 03 Jan 01 - 09:39 PM
Callie 04 Jan 01 - 01:20 AM
Joe Offer 04 Jan 01 - 04:04 AM
Lepus Rex 04 Jan 01 - 09:43 AM
Joe Offer 20 Jan 01 - 11:51 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Jan 01 - 12:52 PM
Bud Savoie 21 Jan 01 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Gregg Newby 21 Jan 01 - 03:03 PM
Robo 21 Jan 01 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Pete Peterson 22 Jan 01 - 09:12 AM
Stewie 22 Jan 01 - 07:15 PM
Barbara Shaw 27 Jan 01 - 08:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 01 - 09:13 AM
Barbara Shaw 27 Jan 01 - 12:46 PM
BH 27 Jan 01 - 07:32 PM
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Subject: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:17 PM

I've just been to see Brother, Where Art Thou, by the Coen Brothers, and it's wall-to-wall old timey music, a real feast and a treat

Here are the threads that have been started on this movie:
1. O Brother, Where Art Thou
2. Lyr Req: o brother
3. Lyr Req: O' Brother, 'rocky candy mountains'
4. New Film, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
5. Oh brother where art thou ?
6. O Brother, where, etc.:Soundtrack/conc.
7. Lyr Req: o, brother where art thou soundtrack
8. I've just seen O Brother Where Art Thou
9. O Brother vs. Morons
10. BS: OH BROTHER VIDEO
11. 'Oh Brother' on stage
12. Oh Brother...
13. BS: o brother, where art thou
14. O Brother, Where Art Thou Video
--JoeClone, 19-Dec-01.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 05:40 PM

JTT, LUCKY! Where are you, that this is playing already?! I thought it wasn't out 'til January... :( And how was the guy who played Tommy Johnson?

---Lepus Rex (Coen Bros. fan)


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:16 PM

I'm in Dublin, where it's playing in Santry, the city centre and the Liffey Valley Centre.

Don't know who plays what, but it's solid great music and very funny, if not awfully deep.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:18 PM

Sorry, just realised I should have said I'm in *Ireland*.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 06:32 PM

Oh, and the guy who plays Tommy Johnson:

http://www.christhomasking.com/Advocate.htm

But the sad thing is that in various sites around the net about the film, for example

http://www.ravecentral.com/obrother.html

he doesn't get equal billing with the other three stars, or even with the usual evil sherrif, coon-huntin' suthn boy etc.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 16 Sep 00 - 07:13 PM

Here's what I'm told is the official site. Might not be, but it'sgot cool stuff. Neat little record player... turn it on and touch the record, and it plays 'Man of Constant Sorrow' by 'The Soggy Bottom Boys,' which I think is the escaped convicts' band in the movie, JTT? Plus there's a trailer, which has some more music on it. And you're right, JTT, I don't see Chris Thomas King's name in the trailer credits. Odd...

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 17 Sep 00 - 06:56 AM

Yes, the three convicts and the bluesman make up an ad hoc band and call themselves the Soggy Bottom Boys - great in-joke :)

The people in the cinema told me that they hoped to have the CD of the film's music for sale next week; they seemed to be getting lots of requests. Strangely, it's not listed on CDNow or Amazon, though another album called O Brother Where Art Thou is.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 08:12 PM

Just been to see this in our local cinema. Great stuff. I never buy soundtrack records, but this one I definitely will.

Wonderful music. And bits from all kinds of favourite films scrambled up together like a lucky dip. The Wizrds of Oz. Bonnie and Clyde. Laurel and Hardy. Moby Dick. And of course Sullivan's Travels, where the title comes from, and one of the key scenes. And I disagree JTT, in its way I think it is pretty deep.

The only thing is, it's the kind of movie that makes me astonished at why people put up with, and even seem to enjoy so much total crap the rest of the time.

But everyone, go and see this one.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: BanjoRay
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 08:43 PM

Of course it's based on Homer's Oddyssey - which of you recognized the relevant characters from it, like the sirens and the cyclops - how many more were there? Also the worksongs from the lines of convicts were straight out of the Lomax recordings from the thirties - terrific stuff
Cheers
Ray


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 13 Oct 00 - 11:42 PM

Aaaagh, it's STILL not playing here! You have no idea how much I want to see this movie...

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Margaret V
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 12:20 AM

I'll see it for you when I'm in Dublin in two weeks, rabbit, since you were good enough to see wimme for me! Margaret


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 12:40 AM

Oh, but you're gloating TWICE, Margaret... Dublin AND O Brother, Where Art Thou? That's not fair! Oh, wait... I kinda gloated about Hedningarna too, din I? Ok, we're even, you EVIL woman, you! >:)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 14 Oct 00 - 02:19 PM

I saw this in Glasgow a couple of weeks ago, and, yes, it's as good as everyone has been saying it is..

The music is awesome. The best version of "Man of Constant Sorrow" I have ever heard..

Go and see it and enjoy it..

regards

SD


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: JTT
Date: 15 Oct 00 - 12:45 PM

And the album's for sale in Dublin now; I got it in Golden Discs in Grafton Street, though HMV were out of it. The album is really good too. I'm particularly enjoying a song I didn't notice in the film: "In the Jailhouse Now"


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Nov 00 - 01:07 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: SeanM
Date: 21 Dec 00 - 05:50 PM

I'll refresh this time.

DAMN this looks and sounds like a good movie. I saw a longer preview than I'd seen at the theater last week, and it's damn funny... also heard a couple songs of the soundtrack - for that reason alone, I'd pay to see this thing a couple times (or maybe I'll just buy the soundtrack).

Comes out in the US this weekend, but only at about 5 theatres, and those only in Los Angeles and New York (otherwise known as "Let's release it limited so that it can build buzz AND qualify for an Oscar, then release it nationwide later")

And yes, "Man of Constant Sorrow" is an incredible version of the song.

M


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Noreen
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 08:53 AM

Saw this film at Belle Vue Showcase, Manchester (UK) on Friday night. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to everyone. The music is wonderful- I'd love the soundtrack. It was fun spotting the 'Odyssey' references- we predicted his wife would be called Penny, and John Goodman makes a great cyclops, but Matt- watch out for the sy-reens!

Strange thing is that it's not been advertised at all, even though it features the lovely Mr Clooney... I only thought of going to see it because I'd seen this thread- so thanks again, Mudcat, and specifically JTT.

Go and find out if it's on near you, you won't be sorry.

Noreen
still wondering how I know 'Man of Constant Sorrow'??


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 09:02 AM

Got the CD for Christmas and been playing it ever since. Film of the year.

How does it happen that the crap music and the crap films always seem to win out, in the short run anyway? Stuff that is mind-bogglingly awful gets mass attention and awards, and sheer magic is ignored and marginalised and dismissed.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Noreen
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 09:17 AM

Totally agree, McG.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Peg
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 12:25 PM

heard some of this on the radio yesterday it sounds great! the man who wrote "You ae My Sunshine" dies this past year so it is also a fitting tribute.

I love the Coen Brothers. Blood Simple and Barton Fink are my favorites.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 12:52 PM

I went and saw this yesterday, and was very disappointed. It is sort of a sketch for a film rather than a film. The possibilities for making a Homeric parody or even something like "Sullivan's Travels" were endless; but the film does almost nothing with them. The only good things were, as said, the music; and a couple of scenes (one in a radio station) that captured something interesting about the period. The rest was just self-indulgent. Hundreds of possibilities for a good film were thrown around, and wasted. Someone like John Goodman was pointlessly wasted (an eyepatch, Cyclops, get it?)

I confess to being personally upset that the original advertising suggested that Emmylou Harris and Alison Krauss were going to play Sirens -- in the event they were played by young babes. More lack of imagination. A perfect Circe gone begging....

The director(s) should also have told George Clooney to stop mugging for the cameras. He was absoluetely perfect for a Clark Gable type, and he was wasted too.

Go and get a copy of "It Happened One Night" or "Sullivan's Travels" and save your money.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 01:15 PM

I've assumed the Homeric parallels were just there for the fun, and weren't too significant, I felt. It wasn't meant as an American equivalent of Ulysses making deep statements about the human condition.I think.

Its central point was the same as the one at the heart of Sullivans Travels, to which it paid pleasing tributes both with the title and in the cinema scene. Which is basically about keeping on keeping on, and the importance to people in trouble of having their hearts lifted by straight simple fun. Mickey Mouse, or good Old Timey music.

And while Sullivan's Travels is one of my favourite movies, its music wasn't a patch on Oh Brother. And the choreography of the baptising and the Klan sequence...


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 01:31 PM

The other good scene I didn't mention was the baptising scene, you are right. But what a waste of an opportunity.

yours, Peter T.
P.S. My version of the theme of Sullivans Travels is that the author is unable to see the real world because he is so driven by film cliches. What makes the film a masterpiece is that the whole film is pointedly full of cliche scenes from other films, which makes the point: the Mickey Mouse scene ironically flips that -- a moving film within the film. The Coen Brothers give us a whole range of cliche scenes from other films, and do nothing with them. Even the film scene within the film does nothing with the idea. That is what I object to. What did they think they were doing with all this highpriced talent and sophisticated references to earlier films?


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 01:50 PM

So the music's great, the baptising scene is great, the radio recording session is OK...this is getting like the Life of Brian and "what did the Romans ever do that was any good..."

I reckon Preston Sturgess would have liked it anyway. And I don't think there are that many films made in America these days that he would.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Peter T.
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 02:11 PM

I said the film was very disappointing, I didn't say it didn't have good things in it. I reckon Preston Sturges would have been bored by it: he had a finer sense for the jugular (IMHO). About American films in general, you are right.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 04:28 PM

Interesting discussions here. I'm really looking forward to seeing this film, and I only go to about one movie every 5 years or so, if forced. I have the sound track, and it's very good - another thing I don't usually do is buy sound tracks.

If nothing else, this movie brings my favorite kind of music to front stage. I intend to tell everyone I know about it, including people who don't like this kind of music. Give 'em a taste of the good stuff.

One question: I was an English major, but managed to avoid Homer's Odyssey. Can someone give me an abbreviated version? (I knew I'd regret the assignments I didn't read. . .)


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 04:45 PM

There's this bloke Odysseus (also known as Ulysses) who's been away at a war in Troy lasting ten year. On the way back to his home in Ithaca and to his loving wife Penelope, he gets shipwrecked, and has all kind of adventures, which mean he doesn't get back for another ten years.

When he gets back he find Penelope is being pestered by a bunch of suitors, who think he's dead, and they are are drinking her out of house and home. So he turns up in disguise, and kills them all, with the help of his son.

It doesn't really have a lot to do with the plot of Oh Brother Where Art Thou...


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 05:44 PM

Just got a post from Irene Saletan on the Indian Neck list saying that she and Ellen went to see "Brother, Where Art Thou" and were surprised to hear themselves on the soundtracksinging "I'll Fly Away" sort of in the middle of the film -- a longish (2-3 minutes and not just background to dialogue or anything) bit, too. Sounds like they were in fine company, as well. Looking forward to seeing/hearing the film!

Bat Goddess


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 31 Dec 00 - 11:57 PM

Sounds pretty fascinating. Gonna try to get to this one.

Dylan did "Man Of Constant Sorrow" on an early LP for Columbia. So many others too. The Stanley Brothers too.-- I seem to recall Ian & Sylvia doing it. And after that came "The Girl Of Constant Sorrow" from the weaving mills of the American South.

I was intrigued to see George Clooney singing thew song in a TV trailer for this movie---but I guess someone else actually sang the song while Geo. acted it out.

Art


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 01 Jan 01 - 12:50 PM

From the trailer, it looks like the version of "Man of Constant Sorrow" come from the Stanley Bros. version.....but, the "call and respose part" ("He's got no friends....." is virtually note for note from the Country gentlemen version.

Damn! This is exactly the kind of film that causes me grief. I desperately want to see it, because it appears to deal with subject matter that fascinates me.....and yet I suspect I'll get so unfairly picky about details that I'll end up hating it. And of course (most of) my friends will love it and tell me it's right up my alley!

Everyone I knew loved "Matewan", but I couldn't deal with hearing a CHROMATIC harmonica sound coming from a MARINE BAND harp, in a campfire sequence!!!!

I Know, I know, I need a shrink! (several, probably)

Rick


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 01 - 01:30 PM

It also has Ralph Stanley's voice doing a Ku Klux Klan version of "O Death".

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jan 01 - 02:44 PM

Someone's got to be picky to keep them from straying too far. But it's basically a fantasy rather than a documentary.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,Noah Count
Date: 01 Jan 01 - 06:34 PM

Bat Goddess says that Irene Saletan thinks she heard herself and Ellen singing "I'll Fly Away" in the middle of the movie.

DON'T THEY WISH?

That was Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.

Art Thieme did not see George Clooney singing "I Am A Man of Constant Sorrow" in the trailer. George was lip-synching to a recording of Dan Tyminski (from Alison Krauss & Union Station) singing it.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Erica Smith
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 10:44 AM

hey,

for brushing up on Homer, I highly recommend the recent Fagles translation of the Odyssey . . . heartbreaking.

I agree that they could have pushed the Odyssey references a bit harder -- what of Odysseus's escape from the Cyclops, or Penelope's loom? -- but oh well. I think the Coen bros. owe more to Aristophanes and other Greek comedy for the use of pacing, absurd coincidence, etc.

ugh, I can't find the soundtrack anywhere in NYC! : )

Erica nerdy English/Classics major


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,wilbury09@aol.com
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 08:29 PM

GINGER BAKERS AIR FORCE ,,DENNY LANE ON VOCAL DID GREAT JOB ON MANOF CONSTANT SORROW CIRCA '71 MOVIE VERSION VERY GOOD.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Lonesome Gillette
Date: 03 Jan 01 - 09:39 PM

My band just played in the movie theater lobby for the Boston opening night of this film ,"O'Brother, where art thou". That was funny, we played acoustically in one of these big movieplexes, most of the people there were innocent bystanders and had no idea what the heck we were doing there playing banjos and fiddles. I was told they are trying to have live bands play at lots of the big city openings. eric


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Callie
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 01:20 AM

I saw the film in Sydney two weeks ago and loved it!

Saw a bluegrass band a few nights ago which really struck a chord as I had only recently seen the Soggy Bottom Brothers!

How about T-Bone Burnett's music? A treat as always.


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Joe Offer
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 04:04 AM

I first heard "Man of Constant Sorrow" on the first Peter, Paul and Mary album (self-titled, 1962). It says Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey wrote the song - somehow I doubt that, although I do like the recording.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 04 Jan 01 - 09:43 AM

Aaargh, I still haven't seen OB,WAT. Been too busy since it came out, and it's only playing down in Mpls. so far. I'll have to see it this weekend...

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Jan 01 - 11:51 PM

-Copied from a duplicate thread, one of 6 on this subject. It's better to use the "Filter" or SuperSearch and resurrect and add to old threads. Multiple threads on the same subject tend to divide and confuse the discussion. Thanks.
-Joe Offer-

Subject: Oh Brother, where art thou?
From: Rev
Date: 20-Jan-01 - 11:26 PM

I haven't noticed any threads related to the new Coen Brothers movie "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" Has anyone seen it? Opinions? Personally I thought it was great. The entire movie, plot and action is driven by a variety of wonderful Old Timey music. I especially liked the use of old Alan Lomax field recordings that were spliced into the action, bringing those old songs to life. It's also got more contemporary performances by Ralph Stanley, Emmylou Harris, T-Bone Burnett, and many others. Besides the excellent music it's just a very wacky film in the tradition of other Coen brother's movies like "Raising Arizona." The plot is loosely based on Homer's Odyssey, but has lots of other references to classic literature. Just my opinion, but it was the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. So what did other folks think? And BTW please excuse me if I'mm duplicating an already existing thread, but I just got back from this movie and was really excited by it. Rev


Subject: RE: BS: Oh Brother, where art thou?
From: GUEST,Bouzouki Bob
Date: 20-Jan-01 - 11:47 PM

I saw it 2 weeks ago, and loved it, just like you. There were 2 previous threads, with 95% of the people saying it was well worth while. I dont know how to bring up an old thread, perhaps another muddy person can show us.


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 12:52 PM

There certainly has been a lot of interest in this movie among Mudcatters. It seems like every time somebody sees it, they start a new thread:

Lyr Req: o, brother where art thou soundtrack
O Brother, where, etc.:Soundtrack/conc.
Oh brother where art thou ?
New Film, Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
Lyr Req: O' Brother, 'rocky candy mountains'
Lyr Req: o brother

Let's hope this will be the last new thread for a while.


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Bud Savoie
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 01:43 PM

The Odyssey parallels are there, although the Coen brothers didn't make them obvious. Sometimes they are notable by their opposites in the film--e.e.g., Homer's Ulysses has one son; Coens' has seven daughters; Homer's has a wife Penelope waiting for him faithfully; Coens' can't wait to get rid of him and marry a suitor.

In addition to the Cyclops and the Sirens, there are the episodes of the slaying of the cattle of the sun; the putting out of the Cyclops's eye with the burning stick; the lotus-eaters who lull the men of Ulysses into wanting to stay; Circe turning men into animals; the releasing of the stormwinds when Ulysses is in sight of home; the minstrel who charms with his music; the fist fight with the suitor; the death of the hound dog; the relentless pursuit of Ulysses by an angry god. All of these have their parallels in the movie.

I've only seen it once, but I plan to get the video when it comes out. Anyone see other things I missed?


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,Gregg Newby
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 03:03 PM

If anyone's interested, I've published a short (800 word) essay on "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" at http://www.themestream.com/articles/294780.html The URL will take you right to it. I'm interested in knowing what people think about it (the movie as well as my article)


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Robo
Date: 21 Jan 01 - 09:18 PM

Well, I've finally seen it and it is indeed all of the above and more. So good that I'd have to say the music, which was the real reason I went, turned out to be a take-away bonus, although a big one at that. The wife and I howled from the train scene on at these three dolts, their exploits and the characters they run into on their journey.

Not really a Clooney fan, I must say he's marvelous as Ulysses. And Tim Blake Nelson as Delbert even does the singing, something I hear tell they steared Clooney clear of, on Jimmie Rodgers's "In the Jailhouse Now." And Pete, John Turturro, is the edge that cuts both ways. I'm telling eveyone to see it and hear it. Consider yourselves told, ya'll!

Rob-o


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: GUEST,Pete Peterson
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 09:12 AM

Well I loved it. I had to do not just a willing suspension of disbelief but a forced suspension of disbelief on much of the music and a lot of other things. . . Rick F and I could sit next to each other at the theater and growl at frequent intervals. . . if the film is indeed set in MS in 1937, what is Pappy O'Daniel doing in MS and not TX? (and I'm not sure, but isn't that about six years late?) The singing was wonderful, but the banjo styles anachronistic; that three-finger banjo style didn't exist for another ten years or so; reminded me a lot of the early Stanley Bros on Rich-R-Tone and that's 1947. Having said that, SO WHAT?? I had a wonderful time & plan to go see it again & maybe even buy the video.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAREWELL SONG (Richard Burnett)
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Jan 01 - 07:15 PM

As Rick pointed out above, the Soggy Bottom Boys' version of 'Man of Constant Sorrow' is an almost word-for-word reproduction of the Stanley Brothers' 1951 version on Columbia [except for the response line]. In turn, the Stanley Brothers' version was reasonably close to the published song from which various versions were to stem. Richard Burnett of Monticello, Kentucky, was blinded in 1907 at the age of 24 years. He turned to music to make a living and travelled the country, playing his music and writing, selling and exchanging various broadside 'ballots'. He later met a young fiddler by the name of Leonard Rutherford and they played music and travelled together for 35 years. Between 1926 and 1930, they made 24 recordings which have been reissued on Document DOCD-8025. Burnett published what was to become known as 'I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow' in one of his little songbooks under the title 'Farewell Song'. In an marvellous interview in April 1973 with Charles Wolfe (Burnett was almost 90 at the time), Burnett said that he sold 6000 'of them books' at ten cents apiece. Wolfe asked him about the song. Wolfe: 'What about this "Farewell Song" – "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow" – did you write it?' Burnett: 'No, I think I got that ballet from somebody – I dunno. It may be my song …' [Old Time Music No 10 Autumn 1973 p 8]. Burnett did not record the song either alone or with Rutherford. An early recording that follows Burnett's printed version closely may be found on Various Artists 'Music of Kentucky Vol 2' Yazoo CD 2014: Emry Arthur 'I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow'. Burnett's printed text:

FAREWELL SONG
(Traditional/Burnett?)

I am a man of constant sorrow
I've seen trouble all my days
I'll bid farewell to old Kentucky
The place where I was born and raised

Oh, six long years I've been blind, friends
My pleasures here on earth are done
In this world I have to ramble
For I have no parents to help me now

So fare you well my own true lover
I fear I'll never see you again
For I am bound to ride the northern railroad
Perhaps I'll die upon the train

Oh you may bury me in some deep valley
For many years there I may lay
Oh when you're dreaming while you're slumbering
While I am sleeping in the clay

Oh fare you well to my native country
The place where I have loved so well
For I have all kinds of trouble
In this vain world no tongue can tell

Dear friends, although I may be a stranger
My face you may never see no more
But there is a promise that is given
Where we can meet on that beautiful shore

Source: As published in a broadside pamphlet by Richard Burnett of Monticello, Kentucky. 'The text appears to date from 1913, making it one of the earliest versions of this moving song' (Charles Wolfe). Reprinted in 'The Songs of Richard Burnett' Old Time Music No 10 Autumn 1973 pp 10-11.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 08:30 AM

Saw the movie last night, and was disappointed. The music is great, as expected, since I have the soundtrack. George Clooney's acting was quite good. The film was enjoyable and there were a few funny lines, but it wasn't great.

One problem I had with the film had to do with this great music AGAIN being associated with stereotypical ignorant idiots (you have to admit the main characters couldn't have been any stupider) jumping around with all the Hee-Haw moves. Since I'm not a fan of slapstick, much of the humor was lost on me.

We went with a group of people, and then socialized afterwards, talking about it at length. One of the interesting things brought up was how extensive the references were to not only Homer's Odyssey but also theology. One of the people in our group is a minister, and he was delighted at all the theological messages and symbolism. Since I never read Homer's work, maybe this was also true in the Odyssey.

One question: why did they name the movie "O Brother, Where Art Thou"? Why that title?


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 09:13 AM

If you've ever seen a film called Sullivan's Travels by Preston Sturgess you'll recognise the title - it's the name of a movie that the hero had planned to make. It was going to be a film desined to appeal to high-minded intellectuals, with a message. But after various rough adventures (some of which are echoed in the newer film as a kind of tribute), he decides its better to make enjoyable films to make people happy, with a different message.

Like this one - as you say, Barbara, it's an enjoyable film with great music, and some very funny stuff. But it disappoints you. Personally I think great music and funny stuff and an enjoyable evening adds up to one kind of great. In line with what I read as the message of the film by Preston Sturgess.

Try and see Sullivan's Travels anyway. Maybe it's a better film. In fact great. But the music isn't as good.


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 12:46 PM

Thanks, McGrath, for the answer. It was enjoyable, and the music was great and there was some funny stuff. Part of the problem may be dissecting the film afterwards as our group did last night, which makes every aspect more subject to criticism, rather than just enjoying the thing!


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Subject: RE: O Brother, Where Art Thou
From: BH
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 07:32 PM

Peter T has hit the nail on the proverbial head. The music IS the picture. All else is one glorious waste of time and self indulgence for the producers and the actors.

Sorry caricatures of real people---no depth or insight.

The Coen Bros. were interviewed on the radio recently and stated that they based this on the The Odyssey. They also pointed out that they had never read it---I guess they checked out the Cliff Notes with their simplistic rendiltions of everything in the film it makes perfect sense.

I have to admit that I have enjoyed most of their previous work---this is one of the few films where I can honestly say I just went to see a music video.

Bill Hahn


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