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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

jenkins · 12 · 1934

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jenkins

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on: September 12, 2018, 05:06:34 PM


16 November 2018   (internet)


pete

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Reply #1 on: October 23, 2018, 11:24:17 PM
I know I've seen longer films, but I don't know if I've seen films that felt longer. some brilliant moments but also a lot of dead space. i love the coen bros enough to find that dead space fascinating tho - and maybe that's what they're counting on - that their fans love hearing their voices as much as they like hearing their own voices. or maybe the shorts should just be released as stand alones on netflix, because contrary to Wild Tales, these shorts do not have any flow.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton


jenkins

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Reply #2 on: November 17, 2018, 10:27:33 PM
watching it sometimes felt "difficult" but i absolutely adore thinking about it and describing what happened. therefore even without a second viewing the value of this movie illustrates itself to me. such rich characters and moments. and the Coens are the kings of wit, that's plain fact. the "O" on her face after the marriage proposal is an example.

you'd think, based on what i said, i'd talk about the movie more. but there aren't "revelations" so much as "fond remembrances," and watching the movie will show you what i mean


samsong

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Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 06:25:58 PM
the coen bros’ le plaisir.  absolutely loved this.  might even be my favorite of theirs.


Sleepless

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Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 08:47:46 AM
Spoils

There's something for all Coen fans to find something to enjoy, and I found things I loved in each of the shorts, but I found like lack of flow between the stories frustrating. Some of that might be due to the following revelation:

Quote
The origin of the project was as simple as the brothers writing individual short films over several years and one day realizing they could be packaged together into an anthology film. The last chapter of “Buster Scruggs,” for instance, was written last and created as a means of bringing the entire project to a close.
Source

So I was expecting some vague sense of (thematic, at least) resolution given that each story ended with a main character's death, and how each short seemed to be progressively longer and darker than the one before it.

Honestly, though, while the first three films had several great comedic elements, I seem to have missed the point to each of them. There's so little that happens in each, they're so short and thin - or in the case of Meal Ticket - just plain repetitive. Too little for even a short film. My favorite, by far, is The Gal Who Got Rattled, which despite being the longest of the six, felt like there was so much more it could have been. I kinda wish they'd just made a feature out of that.


wilberfan

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Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 02:24:10 PM
The Coens spoke with Terry Gross today about the project.


I found the discussion of why they shot digitally interesting.   And 800 visual effects shots!
"Trying to fit in since 2017."


jenkins

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Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 06:11:29 PM
Honestly, though, while the first three films had several great comedic elements, I seem to have missed the point to each of them. There's so little that happens in each, they're so short and thin - or in the case of Meal Ticket - just plain repetitive. Too little for even a short film.

the first one is about how you're fucked since darkness will prevail.

the second one should have ended with Franco dangling from the tree alone. it's about how no matter what happens you're fucked.

the third one is about being fucked if you have a shitty personality in a business world.


samsong

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Reply #7 on: November 21, 2018, 10:51:24 AM
here's a pretty good take on the film, though i find the "asshole" accusation a bit reductive.

https://www.filmfreakcentral.net/ffc/2018/11/the-ballad-of-buster-scruggs.html#more

i like the billy wilder comparison, though.  never really thought of the coens as such, but it's apt.  particularly instructive is his reading of the seemingly much-maligned "meal ticket."  i thought its value was self-evident.  his articulation of what it has to offer is solid.  his writing off of "all gold canyon" though, not so much.  taking it apart story by story and pitting them against each other is to miss the grandeur of the whole tapestry.  but i suppose that's inevitable.

i was held in rapture by every second of this movie, a gleeful reverie and rumination in the most American of genres by two among america's foremost filmmakers.  it helps that i hold a similarly nihilistic worldview and fucking LOVE westerns, so this was preaching to the choir.  but i think this is the coens' most incisive expression of their perspective and among their most accomplished works as a specimen of pure craft, and that they've managed to do this while running the gamut of western archetypes while tapping into the propensity the genre has for subtextual subversion in the face of all the entertainment is downright herculean. 

i need to catch this on the big screen.


Alexandro

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Reply #8 on: November 25, 2018, 02:56:36 PM
this was something. to be honest, and it's just a first viewing, I guess I'm in the minority, as a I was under some spell during the first half and then the shorts that most people seem to praise are the ones that found me tuning out. I LOVED the Tom Waits episode. In short, no one should miss this, episodic films tend to be uneven, so if that's the feeling, is no biggie.


eward

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Reply #9 on: November 28, 2018, 05:23:49 PM
This exceeded my expectations in every way. It's pretty much perfect. The Tom Waits episode is of course my favorite (can't believe he hasn't worked with them before!) followed by the Zoe Kazan...

But goddamn do I hate seeing the Netflix icon pop up before major releases now. It's such a shitty graphic. Remember waaaay back in the day - the old glory days of xixax - when it was just a dvd mailing service?
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Shughes

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Reply #10 on: November 28, 2018, 05:33:48 PM
The Amazon Studios sting is even worse than Netflix. I remember seeing it on You Were Never Really Here on the big screen - it just looked cheap compared to the Film Four sting that followed it. I think they've dressed it up a bit now but it's still not great.

I liked but didn't love The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - the first story was the most irritating though it had a charm to it, and they got better after that. Everything looked very crisp and digital though.


Tictacbk

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Reply #11 on: December 03, 2018, 02:28:42 AM
Thoroughly enjoyed this, but it made me want to watch No Country For Old Men... so I did. Which made me remember that the Coen Bros already made a masterpiece with basically these same themes.  Still fun though! Or... "fun."