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New details on Hail Caesar Plot

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New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by party animal - not! on Wed Apr 22 2015, 23:22

Hollywood Reporter

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New Plot Details From Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Revealed

New details about Hail, Caesar! — the Coen brothers' upcoming "musical comedy" — have been revealed, thanks to their oft-collaborators: composer Carter Burwell and sound mixer Skip Lievsay.
During the "Dolby Institute: The Sound of the Coens" Master Class, part of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, Dolby director Glenn Kiser asked the two to describe the early parts of their process with directors Ethan and Joel Coen.

"We're doing one now," said Lievsay of Universal's 2016 release, with an ensemble cast that includes George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill. It tells the comedic tale of Eddie Mannix, a fixer who worked for the Hollywood studios in the 1950s, and follows a single day in his life as he is presented with plenty of problems to fix.
Burwell added, "It's a musical comedy that takes place on a Hollywood backlot, so you pass through all these pictures that are in production there." Since the storyline has the plot popping into different in-progress films, the musical sequences will differ, but among the ones planned is "a tap-dance water number."
But don't expect too much lightheartedness onscreen. Burwell later explained to The Hollywood Reporter, "I wouldn't actually call it a 'musical comedy' — there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we're making is actually not comical. I haven't written the music yet, but I'm quite certain it's actually going to be quite the opposite. It's going to be rather serious, and it's about faith. It's not about the music."
He continued, "It's actually pretty complicated, musically — you'll see, the themes that I'm writing for the movie have to relate to the themes of the movies within the movie. So it's actually this rug with all these threads going in and out. But I haven't written it yet!"

Throughout the panel, the auteurs spoke about their other films, including Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, The Man Who Wasn't There and Burn After Reading.
Burwell and Lievsay noted that their process begins with "spotting," during which the four of them sonically map out the film early in the production process — "It's a smart thing I recommend everyone do because if you don't, at the final mix, you have someone else trying to shove in music and sound effects. ... It’s a situation for fistfighting," said Burwell — and make sure they have "a good recording of every single line in the script before we finish shooting," said Lievsay.
Though Burwell joked that he and Lievsay continued to collaborate with the Coen brothers over the years simply because "they just hate meeting new people," he later noted, "They write knowing the importance of sound and music, and a lot of people don't. ... They feel free to have minutes with no dialogue."
Lievsay, in jest, called that directorial instinct "imagination."


Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Apr 23 2015, 20:09; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added text)

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by LizzyNY on Thu Apr 23 2015, 01:08

So...It's a "musical comedy" that is the opposite of comical, but has comedy in it but is more about faith. O.K. I give up scratch Maybe the comedy part is George in a skirt? and the rest is serious stuff? Except for the part that isn't.

I thought I understood what this movie was about until I read this interview. Now I'm not so sure.

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by Donnamarie on Thu Apr 23 2015, 02:39

Two more articles

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The Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! will be a musical, composer reveals

As Joel and Ethan Coen consistently reveal nothing about their current projects, it wouldn’t have been surprising if Alex Karpovsky declaring their new film to be “zany” were the last bit of news about Hail, Caesar! until its February 5, 2016 release. However, two longtime Coen collaborators, composer Carter Burwell and sound mixer Skip Lievsay, were willing to expand a bit on that adjective.
At the “Dolby Institute: The Sound of the Coens” Master Class at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, the two were discussing their process with the Coens when Burwell offered that Hail, Caesar! is “a musical comedy that takes place on a Hollywood backlot, so you pass through all these pictures that are in production” and that there’s a “tap-dance water number” among the planned musical scenes. The film will follow Eddie Mannix, a fixer for a ’50s Hollywood studio, as he deals with various problems throughout a single day in his life. So far George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, and Jonah Hill are set to star, with a brief appearance by Karpovsky.
In keeping with the Coens’ inclination toward dark material, Burwell carefully noted that the film won’t exactly be a happy, singsong affair, saying, “I wouldn’t actually call it a ‘musical comedy’there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we’re making is actually not comical. I haven’t written the music yet, but I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite. It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.”
Presumably, as soon as this discussion began, Joel and Ethan’s ears started burning and they instinctively set the Hail, Caesar! script on fire, then called Clooney to let him know he’d have to prepare to play an even bigger numbskull than originally planned. “Just wing it, George,” they likely said. “Use your imagination.”

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The Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Will Be A Musical & Here's Proof That's Not A Terrible Idea

It’s easy to get excited about a new Coen Bros. film; the siblings have few if any bombs to their name and have produced more than a few films that many would consider modern American classics: Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and their Best Picture-winning No Country For Old Men, among many others. So I’ve been excited for their upcoming film Hail, Caesar! ever since it was announced — but now there’s news that makes me even more stoked: the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! will be a musical.
First, a refresher course on what we already knew about the film: it stars Josh Brolin as real-life ’50s era Hollywood fixer Eddie Mannix (L.A.’s Olivia Pope, if you will) as he tries to locate a missing celebrity. Hail, Caesar! also stars George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Scarlett Johansson, Jonah Hill, and Channing Tatum. Can anyone say Hail, Oscar!?
What we didn’t know was that apparently Hail, Caesar! is a musical comedy. At a Dolby Institute master class on “The Sound Of The Coens,” composer Carter Burwell and sound mixer Skip Lievsay revealed the truth: “It’s a musical comedy that takes place on a Hollywood backlot,” said Burwell, “so you pass through all these pictures that are in production there.” Each of these “pictures” will have their own distinct musical style, including “a tap-dance water number.” He elaborates: “It’s actually pretty complicated, musically — you’ll see, the themes that I’m writing for the movie have to relate to the themes of the movies within the movie. So it’s actually this rug with all these threads going in and out.”

Burwell went on to hedge his bets regarding the “comedy” part of his statement: “I wouldn’t actually call it a ‘musical comedy’ — there are movies within the movie, and those movies might have comedic music, but the movie we’re making is actually not comical. I haven’t written the music yet, but I’m quite certain it’s actually going to be quite the opposite. It’s going to be rather serious, and it’s about faith. It’s not about the music.”

While the Coen Bros. and musicals might seem like an odd combination at first, it’s actually not all that unexpected when you think about it. While some of their films are known for their sparse use of music, like Fargo, just as many — if not more — are known for their stellar soundtracks. Whether using well-known tunes in the background to enhance the mood or actually having characters break out into song, the Coens are no strangers to weaving music into the tapestry of their films.
Here are five Coen Bros. movies that prove the writer/directors have been slowly working their way towards a full-blown musical this whole time:

5. Miller’s Crossing (1990)


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One of the brothers’ earliest films contains one of their most famous uses of an idiosyncratic soundtrack to set an unexpected tone. No one else would have thought to play the familiar strains of the Irish ballad “Danny Boy” under an intense shootout, but it works wonders here, juxtaposing the violence of the actions with the beauty of the music. The result is a hypnotizing, practically orgiastic ballet of bullets.

4. A Serious Man (2009)


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Speaking of idiosyncratic soundtracks… After an opening sequence featuring a Jewish couple and a dybbuk on the shtetl, the film transitions into 1960s Minnesota to the tunes of the psychedelic rock song “Somebody To Love” by Jefferson Airplane. It’s a disorientingly bizarre moment that gains relevance as the song is repeated through the movie, most notably during a session with a wizened rabbi, and again as the film’s credits start to roll. “When the truth is found to be lies / And all the joy within you dies…” What then? The Coens clearly know how to use music to enhance the meaning of their films.

3. The Big Lebowski (1998)


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This film is chock-full of great musical moments — including John Turturro prancing around to a Spanish-language version of The Eagles’ “Hotel California” — but the Dude’s trippy hallucination set to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition’s “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” is the moment that most clearly speaks to the Coens’ budding interest in song-and-dance. Back in 2009, EW’s Owen Gleiberman prophetically stated that, “what that sequence indicates to me is that the Coens should seriously consider making a gloriously skewed pop musical.” Little did he know…

2. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)


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How to pick just one musical moment from this terrific film? There’s the seductive song of the sirens; the spiritual baptism hymn; but “I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow,” sung throughout the film by George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, is the soundtrack’s crown jewel. The song became so popular that it received mainstream airtime on the radio, the soundtrack sold 7 million copies, and it would go on to win Album of the Year at the 2002 Grammys. Can George Clooney help Hail, Caesar! reach similar heights?

1. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)


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This melancholy gem of a film is the closest the Coen Bros. have come so far to making a musical. There’s plenty of singing throughout the film, but seeing as how all the characters are musicians, the music is all organic to the story rather than performed in a heightened reality. Like O Brother, there are almost too many good musical moments to highlight just one: ”Fare Thee Well,” ”Hang Me, Oh Hang Me,” ”Please Mr. Kennedy.” But it’s this sad song that Oscar Isaac’s Llewyn croons in a last-ditch audition for F. Murray Abraham’s Bud Grossman that stuck with me long after the film was over. The lyrics to “Queen Jane” are devastatingly sad, the melody is haunting, and Isaac’s vocals — especially on the a cappella last verse — are devastatingly vulnerable. If the Coens can recreate just one moment as raw and honest as this in Hail, Caesar!, it will be a success.


Last edited by Nicky80 on Thu Apr 23 2015, 20:19; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added text and videos)

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by Way2Old4Dis on Thu Apr 23 2015, 16:16

I think I understand the composer's explanation of the movie, but it only reinforces my skepticism. It's a boldly creative venture, it sounds like, but it is very, very hard to pull off a cross-genre movie. If only the movies-within-the-movie are comedic, and the actual story of the whole movie has a serious dramatic tone, it will feel uneven, I think. So maybe this composer hasn't seen the edited cut yet. He's doing the music for the 'inset' movies. The Coens are known for excellent soundtrack choices, which might be the musical backdrop of the 'umbrella' story. I don't know. Obviously. I suspect it's a movie that any given moviegoer will either love or hate.

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by Sevens on Fri Apr 24 2015, 09:35

I love everything the Coens did. This sounds fun and up in their alley.

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by Donnamarie on Mon Apr 27 2015, 01:13

So in O Brother George obsessed about his hair and in Intolerable Cruelty he obsessed about his teeth. Anyone's guess what he will obsess about in Hail Caesar?

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by LizzyNY on Mon Apr 27 2015, 01:44

Donnamarie - Since he's wearing a skirt, maybe his knees? Very Happy

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by annemarie on Mon Apr 27 2015, 02:36

Lol, true .

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

Post by Sevens on Wed Nov 25 2015, 14:42

A recent interview from the composer about Hail,Caesar!'s music:

8. 'Hail Ceasar' is one of his most ambitious scores yet. 


The Coen Brother's latest collaboration with Burwell is their upcoming "Hail Ceasar," a slapstick romp whose stuffed-to-the-brim cast includes George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum. "We had to try so many things because it's a film with many films within it," Burwell said of the film. "There are five or six films within the film, and they're all different styles: there's a Western, there's a Roman swords-and-sandals movie, an Esther Williams water ballet, and the question becomes how they come together to make one movie. It's something we're still figuring out." 

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Re: New details on Hail Caesar Plot

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