Coens ‘stumped’ at press conference

by W. Andrew Powell

Normally, I have to say that I don’t like the idea of admitting that I sometimes find wisdom in the National Post‘s coverage, but the honest truth is that they have some pretty good entertainment coverage.

Case-in-point, an article today by Vanessa Farquharson on the ultra-exclusive press conference for Burn After Reading, an industry event I heard had no video cameras, and only a bare minimum amount of photographers.

But, perhaps there was good reason considering no one had anything interesting to say?

“In attendance were directors Joel and Ethan Coen, actress Tilda Swinton and her co-stars Brad Pitt and John Malkovich – all smart, talented and articulate people who, one might think, would have something interesting or even enlightening to say about the film they just made.

But, in actual fact, not so much.”

In the end, Vanessa found a simple explanation for the empty answers in a “rant,” as she called it, by Ethan Coen:

“Look, it’s just an odd situation. I mean, you make a movie because you find something about the story and the characters to be compelling and think the film should speak for itself, and you don’t have anything to say beyond that because you don’t think about it in other terms, or at least any journalistic terms, but then here you are one day, sitting in front of a bunch of journalists, and they’re asking you to say something that isn’t self-evident from the movie and you’re stumped, and sometimes they think you’re being coy or elusive, but the fact is you just don’t have anything else to say.”

Now that’s some honesty I wish I heard more often.

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