The Ballad of Buster Scruggs - The Coen Brothers, a Netflix Western



Wow, that looks awesome!


Yeah, I am all in.


OMG ALL IN. This looks amazing.


It does look great, but there’s the straight-to-Netflix factor to consider. I hope that that means nothing.


It’s not really straight to Netflix, though.

It does look SO very Coen. First night watch!




November 16.

This looks good. Better than Silverado.


What wouldn’t be better than Silverado?




You better run. You started it just with that troll comment in the first place.


In my defense , I may not have been fully caffeinated.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this. Their remake of True Grit was just out my Top 6 Westerns.


Here’s a fun game. How many of the Coens’ eighteen movies are not period pieces?

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Hail, Caesar!
Inside Llewyn Davis
True Grit
A Serious Man
Burn After Reading
No Country for Old Men
The Ladykillers
Intolerable Cruelty
The Man Who Wasn’t There
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
The Big Lebowski
The Hudsucker Proxy
Barton Fink
Miller’s Crossing
Raising Arizona
Blood Simple

I think it’s four. Maybe five. I don’t have a point, just think it’s interesting, that’s all.


Burn After Reading, No Country for Old Men, Intolerable Cruelty, The Big Lebowski, Fargo, Raising Arizona, and Blood Simple, by my count. Not sure about The Ladykillers because I turned it off 10 minutes in, but I don’t think that’s a period piece either (though it’s a remake of a 1955 film).


No Country for Old Men IS a period piece. It’s set 40 years in the past. It’s like Paper Moon was in 1974 when it was made, ( to wit: a Depression-era period piece). Or Mad Men. Or you name it. But it is not set in the period in which it was made.


Hmm. Okay, it seemed pretty modern but you’re right, it’s set in 1980.


It seems modern or current to us because we were alive, though children. The Paper Moon example I find fascinating because my Dad, for instance, was 39 when it was made. He was alive during the period Paper Moon occurred. But it is still a period piece, set in the past.


I always forget that The Big Lebowski’s set in 1991.


That is a tighter window, and more debatable. But here is another example: American Graffiti. Definitely a period piece on release. Takes place only 11 years after the time period portrayed in the film. Diner, 23 years. Etc.


I’d argue that The Big Lebowski and Fargo are also period pieces. Fargo, released in 1996, starts with the text: “This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.” I think they tried to carry this across–that this was set in the late 80s–with little details like the costuming, the cars, references to Bill Diehl and other local color, the set dressing, and so on. William H. Macy’s kid has a Whitesnake poster on his wall, for God’s sake. Nine year’s difference between the setting and release date.

The Big Lebowski, released in 1998, starts with the Dude looking up at a Ralph’s cashier’s tiny portable TV, signing a check (post)dated September 11, 1991. President George Bush (the only one of his name, to date), is drawing a figurative line in the sand versus Saddam Hussein. It is a period of Gulf War. The vernacular of the time – “This aggression will not stand, man!” “Take the camel-fucker in Iraq, for instance…” — places a dude that once signed the original Port Huron statement in a time that was much harsher to his sensibilities than a time of the movie’s release – after a term and a half of Bill Clinton’s national nightmare of peace and prosperity.

I think the non-period pieces are Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Intolerable Cruelty, The Ladykillers, and Burn After Reading.