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Jeremy Michael Cohen

a digital scrapbook of the life of film writer and director Jeremy Michael Cohen
Jul 23 '14
cinephiliabeyond:

Our friend Alex Belth just released The Dudes Abide: The Coen Brothers and the Making of The Big Lebowski, over at Kindle Singles. Yay! In the autumn of 1996, Joel and Ethan Coen were a few months from filming their seventh feature film, The Big Lebowski. Their sixth, Fargo, was released that March to acclaim; awards would follow. Alex Belth, a 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker, landed a job as their personal assistant on Lebowski — and for the next year, was the fly on the wall as the Coens created the movie that would become an enduring movie classic. First as their personal assistant and then as an assistant film editor, Belth observed everything from the pre-production work of location scouting, casting, and rehearsals, all the way through filming and post-production.

Belth witnessed when Jeff Bridges and John Goodman met for the first time and rehearsed their iconic roles as The Dude and Walter; when a private screening was held for Alan Klein, the Rolling Stones’ notorious former business manager; and long editing sessions with the Coen brothers in the editing room, as they tied their movie together. The Dudes Abide  is the first behind-the-scenes account of the making of a Coen Brothers movie, and offers an intimate, first-hand narrative of the making of The Big Lebowski — including never-before-revealed details about the making of the film, and insight into the inner workings of the Coen Brothers’ genius.
Here’s a little taste:

 Joel and Ethan Coen were waiting for John Goodman to finish taking a leak. It was just after lunch on Dec. 10, 1996, and Joel, who’d turned 42 a few weeks earlier, was looking out a large window at the Hollywood Hills. It was raining again.
 “That’d be just our luck, Eth,” Joel said. “Spend a whole winter in Minnesota and it doesn’t snow, then we come here and it fucking rains.”
 Joel, older by three years, stood with his hands in his sweatshirt pockets. His black hair tied in a ponytail, small round glasses across his nose, he could have passed for the Ramones’ long-lost brother—the one who went to graduate school.
 “The fucking rainy season,” he said.
 On this rainy afternoon in L.A., Goodman and Jeff Bridges were meeting for the first time to read through a new Coen brothers screenplay called The Big Lebowski. Bridges was still stuck in traffic when Goodman returned from the can. He sat on the edge of the couch, legs open, his belly hanging so low it looked like he was sitting on the floor, and started quoting lines from Fargo. Goodman, a friend of the Coens since he worked with them on their second movie, Raising Arizona, laughed about the scene where William Macy tried to escape out of a motel window, only to be dragged back inside by the cops.
 “Macy in his underwear,” Goodman said, giggling.
 “That’s our answer to everything,” Ethan said. “You need a dramatic fall, put a character in his undies.”
 Joel told Goodman about re-recording dialogue for the profanity-free television version of Fargo. They rewrote the line, “I’m fucking hungry now” to “I’m full of hungry now.”
 “Why didn’t we write it like that originally?” said Joel. “It’s funnier.”
 Goodman said, “Who else is coming on this show?” (In Los Angeles, movie people call a movie a “show.”)
 There was Steve Buscemi as Donny, Julianne Moore as Maude, Jon Polito as Da Fino.
 Joel said, “Our friend Luis, who was an assistant film editor on Hudsucker, will be playing the enraged Mexican.”
 “Yeah, you’ll like Luis,” Ethan said in a creaky voice. “He makes a big statement.”
 “Turturro is coming in to play the pederast,” Joel said. “He said he’d do his best F. Murray Abraham.”
 Much of the cast was in place save for Bunny and Brandt and, critically, the Big Lebowski. You know, the other Jeffrey Lebowski, the tycoon whose Pasadena mansion is both miles and worlds away from the Dude’s rundown bungalow. With just over a month left before filming began, the Boys—as Joel and Ethan were known by colleagues and friends—weren’t close to casting the title role.
 The trouble was that most of the actors they wanted were dead. Raymond Burr? Dead. Fred Gwynne? Dead. Anthony Perkins, Marty Balsam, Chuck Connors? All dead. Brian Keith was ill (he died less than a year later). Jason Robards was said to be having health problems.
 The original Lebowski list was dubbed “Mussburger lists”—referring to Paul Newman’s character from The Hudsucker Proxy. It included Tommy Lee Jones (too young), Robert Duvall (not interested, didn’t get it), Anthony Hopkins (not interested, wouldn’t play an American), Gene Hackman (not interested, wanted a vacation), and Jack Nicholson (not interested, only wanted to play Moses).
 Another Lebowski wish list followed, a wild collection of names that included Norman Mailer, Jerry Falwell, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jonathan Winters, and General Norman Schwarzkopf. Also, venerable actors like Fred Ward, Carroll O’Connor, Hoyt Axton, Ned Beatty, Peter Boyle, Richard Mulligan, Michael Caine, Jackie Cooper, Bruce Dern, and Paul Dooley. Ernest Borgnine was included, as were Larry Hagman, James Coburn, Andy Griffith, and Lloyd Bridges.
 The choices narrowed—Rod Steiger, George C. Scott, Charles Durning, Pat Hingle. Then, the impossible dream: Brando. It was a good dream, too, though unlikely. Brando had certainly grown into the role but he was eccentric, expensive, and didn’t much like to work. Still, the idea amused the Boys no end, and for weeks they quoted the Big Lebowski’s lines in a Brando accent: “Condolences, the bums lost,” Joel said with his jaw pushed out to look like Brando in The Godfather.
 “Strong men also cry,” Ethan replied.
 But their favorite was, “By God, sir, I will not abide another toe.”

The Dudes Abide  is available now. You don’t need to own a Kindle to read it. So long as you have a device that is connected to the Internet, you can download the Kindle App—to your phone or computer—and then purchase the story.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

//

cinephiliabeyond:

Our friend Alex Belth just released The Dudes Abide: The Coen Brothers and the Making of The Big Lebowski, over at Kindle Singles. Yay! In the autumn of 1996, Joel and Ethan Coen were a few months from filming their seventh feature film, The Big Lebowski. Their sixth, Fargo, was released that March to acclaim; awards would follow. Alex Belth, a 25-year-old aspiring filmmaker, landed a job as their personal assistant on Lebowski — and for the next year, was the fly on the wall as the Coens created the movie that would become an enduring movie classic. First as their personal assistant and then as an assistant film editor, Belth observed everything from the pre-production work of location scouting, casting, and rehearsals, all the way through filming and post-production.

Belth witnessed when Jeff Bridges and John Goodman met for the first time and rehearsed their iconic roles as The Dude and Walter; when a private screening was held for Alan Klein, the Rolling Stones’ notorious former business manager; and long editing sessions with the Coen brothers in the editing room, as they tied their movie together. The Dudes Abide  is the first behind-the-scenes account of the making of a Coen Brothers movie, and offers an intimate, first-hand narrative of the making of The Big Lebowski — including never-before-revealed details about the making of the film, and insight into the inner workings of the Coen Brothers’ genius.

Here’s a little taste:

Joel and Ethan Coen were waiting for John Goodman to finish taking a leak. It was just after lunch on Dec. 10, 1996, and Joel, who’d turned 42 a few weeks earlier, was looking out a large window at the Hollywood Hills. It was raining again.

“That’d be just our luck, Eth,” Joel said. “Spend a whole winter in Minnesota and it doesn’t snow, then we come here and it fucking rains.”

Joel, older by three years, stood with his hands in his sweatshirt pockets. His black hair tied in a ponytail, small round glasses across his nose, he could have passed for the Ramones’ long-lost brother—the one who went to graduate school.

“The fucking rainy season,” he said.

On this rainy afternoon in L.A., Goodman and Jeff Bridges were meeting for the first time to read through a new Coen brothers screenplay called The Big Lebowski. Bridges was still stuck in traffic when Goodman returned from the can. He sat on the edge of the couch, legs open, his belly hanging so low it looked like he was sitting on the floor, and started quoting lines from Fargo. Goodman, a friend of the Coens since he worked with them on their second movie, Raising Arizona, laughed about the scene where William Macy tried to escape out of a motel window, only to be dragged back inside by the cops.

“Macy in his underwear,” Goodman said, giggling.

“That’s our answer to everything,” Ethan said. “You need a dramatic fall, put a character in his undies.”

Joel told Goodman about re-recording dialogue for the profanity-free television version of Fargo. They rewrote the line, “I’m fucking hungry now” to “I’m full of hungry now.”

“Why didn’t we write it like that originally?” said Joel. “It’s funnier.”

Goodman said, “Who else is coming on this show?” (In Los Angeles, movie people call a movie a “show.”)

There was Steve Buscemi as Donny, Julianne Moore as Maude, Jon Polito as Da Fino.

Joel said, “Our friend Luis, who was an assistant film editor on Hudsucker, will be playing the enraged Mexican.”

“Yeah, you’ll like Luis,” Ethan said in a creaky voice. “He makes a big statement.”

“Turturro is coming in to play the pederast,” Joel said. “He said he’d do his best F. Murray Abraham.”

Much of the cast was in place save for Bunny and Brandt and, critically, the Big Lebowski. You know, the other Jeffrey Lebowski, the tycoon whose Pasadena mansion is both miles and worlds away from the Dude’s rundown bungalow. With just over a month left before filming began, the Boys—as Joel and Ethan were known by colleagues and friends—weren’t close to casting the title role.

The trouble was that most of the actors they wanted were dead. Raymond Burr? Dead. Fred Gwynne? Dead. Anthony Perkins, Marty Balsam, Chuck Connors? All dead. Brian Keith was ill (he died less than a year later). Jason Robards was said to be having health problems.

The original Lebowski list was dubbed “Mussburger lists”—referring to Paul Newman’s character from The Hudsucker Proxy. It included Tommy Lee Jones (too young), Robert Duvall (not interested, didn’t get it), Anthony Hopkins (not interested, wouldn’t play an American), Gene Hackman (not interested, wanted a vacation), and Jack Nicholson (not interested, only wanted to play Moses).

Another Lebowski wish list followed, a wild collection of names that included Norman Mailer, Jerry Falwell, Gore Vidal, William F. Buckley, Jonathan Winters, and General Norman Schwarzkopf. Also, venerable actors like Fred Ward, Carroll O’Connor, Hoyt Axton, Ned Beatty, Peter Boyle, Richard Mulligan, Michael Caine, Jackie Cooper, Bruce Dern, and Paul Dooley. Ernest Borgnine was included, as were Larry Hagman, James Coburn, Andy Griffith, and Lloyd Bridges.

The choices narrowed—Rod Steiger, George C. Scott, Charles Durning, Pat Hingle. Then, the impossible dream: Brando. It was a good dream, too, though unlikely. Brando had certainly grown into the role but he was eccentric, expensive, and didn’t much like to work. Still, the idea amused the Boys no end, and for weeks they quoted the Big Lebowski’s lines in a Brando accent: “Condolences, the bums lost,” Joel said with his jaw pushed out to look like Brando in The Godfather.

“Strong men also cry,” Ethan replied.

But their favorite was, “By God, sir, I will not abide another toe.”

The Dudes Abide  is available now. You don’t need to own a Kindle to read it. So long as you have a device that is connected to the Internet, you can download the Kindle App—to your phone or computer—and then purchase the story.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

Jul 23 '14
austinkleon:

Paul McCartney and John Lennon writing “I Saw Her Standing There,” 1962

I looked this photo up after reading about it in Joshua Shenk’s Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs:


  One late November afternoon in 1962, John Lennon and Paul McCartney got together to write at Paul’s house at 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool. Their ritual was to come around in the afternoon, just the two of them, when Paul’s dad was at work. They would go to the small front room overlooking Jim McCartney’s patch of garden and sit opposite each other. “Like mirrors,” Paul said.
  
  John sat on a chair pulled in from the dining room. He had his Jumbo Gibson acoustic-electric with a sunburst finish. Paul sat on a little table in front of the telly with his foot on the hearth of the coal fireplace. He played a Spanish-style guitar with nylon strings, strung in reverse for a lefty. In a photography shot by Paul’s brother, Michael, they’re both looking down at a notebook on the floor, filled with lyrics…
  
  …Years later, Paul told his brother that he loved his photo of the “I Saw Her Standing There” writing session because it captured how it really was—”the Rodgers and Hammerstein of pop at work.” Writing “eyeball to eyeball,” as John said, they weren’t just frontmen for a rock group; they were composers working in concert.


There’s a Lennon/McCartney excerpt of the book over at the Atlantic.

Photo credit: Mike McCartney, image via britishbeatlemania

Filed under: The Beatles

austinkleon:

Paul McCartney and John Lennon writing “I Saw Her Standing There,” 1962

I looked this photo up after reading about it in Joshua Shenk’s Powers of Two: Finding the Essence of Innovation in Creative Pairs:

One late November afternoon in 1962, John Lennon and Paul McCartney got together to write at Paul’s house at 20 Forthlin Road in Liverpool. Their ritual was to come around in the afternoon, just the two of them, when Paul’s dad was at work. They would go to the small front room overlooking Jim McCartney’s patch of garden and sit opposite each other. “Like mirrors,” Paul said.

John sat on a chair pulled in from the dining room. He had his Jumbo Gibson acoustic-electric with a sunburst finish. Paul sat on a little table in front of the telly with his foot on the hearth of the coal fireplace. He played a Spanish-style guitar with nylon strings, strung in reverse for a lefty. In a photography shot by Paul’s brother, Michael, they’re both looking down at a notebook on the floor, filled with lyrics…

…Years later, Paul told his brother that he loved his photo of the “I Saw Her Standing There” writing session because it captured how it really was—”the Rodgers and Hammerstein of pop at work.” Writing “eyeball to eyeball,” as John said, they weren’t just frontmen for a rock group; they were composers working in concert.

There’s a Lennon/McCartney excerpt of the book over at the Atlantic.

Photo credit: Mike McCartney, image via britishbeatlemania

Filed under: The Beatles

Jul 18 '14
brooklynmutt:

"Gotta tip my hat to the Fox bookers on landing what is basically their viewers’ cartoon image of a union worker." - @BrianMontopoli

brooklynmutt:

"Gotta tip my hat to the Fox bookers on landing what is basically their viewers’ cartoon image of a union worker." - @BrianMontopoli

Jul 17 '14
Jul 17 '14
Jul 17 '14
Home sweet home. #vscocam #jeremy (at Sawtelle Boulevard)

Home sweet home. #vscocam #jeremy (at Sawtelle Boulevard)

Tags: vscocam jeremy
Jul 17 '14
"We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent."
Steve Jobs
Tags: Steve Jobs
Jul 14 '14
"If you are feeling overwhelmed and under competent, then you are very likely not applying enough pressure."
Jul 14 '14
Jul 8 '14
humansofnewyork:

"Bank robbery was my crime of choice. You know, I hadn’t committed a single crime until the age of 54. But then I robbed my first bank, and after that I went on quite a tear."

humansofnewyork:

"Bank robbery was my crime of choice. You know, I hadn’t committed a single crime until the age of 54. But then I robbed my first bank, and after that I went on quite a tear."

Jul 7 '14
Jul 7 '14
All #Americana ………………………. #vscocam #vsco #hollywoodbowl (at Hollywood Bowl)

All #Americana ………………………. #vscocam #vsco #hollywoodbowl (at Hollywood Bowl)

Jul 3 '14

What All Those “What Your Favorite Things Say About Your Politics” Graphs Say About Politics

priceonomics:

image

A Democrat could turn Republican, but then he’d have to switch from microbrews to Coors Light.

Read the Blog Post Here »

Jul 3 '14

cinephiliabeyond:

There are filmmakers we love and then there’s Michael Bay. Even if you dislike him, Bay has something valuable to teach us about visual perception. Here’s another great video essay from Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting, an exploration of Bayhem — his style of camera movement, composition and editing that creates something overblown, dynamic and distinct.

Never, under any circumstances, hate a movie. It won’t help you and it’s a waste of time. There’s plenty of reasons to not to like a movie. But if you hate them? Meaning if let them bother you? Then they’ll do nothing but bother you. And I mean if you want to do this for a fucking living and you’re absolutely serious, then never hate a movie. You can learn so much about the craft from bad movies. Bad movies teach you what not to do and what to correct in your process and that’s way more helpful. And fuck man, hating movies closes you off to stuff that seems like whatever you hate. Or stuff by the same guy. And who knows? That other stuff could be awesome. Some of my favorite filmmakers made bad movies. It won’t help you. It just won’t. It stops your development right in its tracks, okay? I mean like everything and I ain’t trying to get you to be like me or anything. I’m just saying I think it’s better for you. And it makes me way, way happier. Never hate a movie. They’re gifts. Every fucking one of em.Quentin Tarantino

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

Jul 3 '14
brooklynmutt:

"Incredible storm clouds over Manhattan. I feel like aliens are about to land…" - @JonathanHuntFNC

brooklynmutt:

"Incredible storm clouds over Manhattan. I feel like aliens are about to land…" - @JonathanHuntFNC