39 Facts About Barton Fink


Barton Fink is a 1991 American period black comedy psychological thriller film written, produced, edited and directed by the Coen brothers.

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Barton Fink had its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May 1991.

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Prominent themes of Barton Fink include the writing process; slavery and conditions of labor in creative industries; superficial distinctions between high culture and low culture; and the relationship of intellectuals with "the common man".

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In 1941, up-and-coming Broadway playwright Barton Fink accepts a contract from Capitol Pictures in Hollywood to write film scripts for a thousand dollars per week.

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Barton Fink's room's only decoration is a small painting of a woman on the beach, arm raised to block the sun.

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Barton Fink is assigned to a wrestling film by his new boss Jack Lipnick, but he finds difficulty in writing for the unfamiliar subject.

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Barton Fink is distracted by sounds coming from the room next door, and he phones the front desk to complain.

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Barton Fink produces the entire script in one sitting and he goes out for a night of celebratory dancing.

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Barton Fink meets a woman who looks just like the one in the picture on his wall at the Earle, and she asks about the box.

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Barton Fink tells her he does not know what it contains nor who owns it.

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Barton Fink's agent advised against working with the Coens, but Deakins met with them at a cafe in Notting Hill and they soon began working together on Barton Fink.

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Barton Fink's room is sparsely furnished with two large windows facing another building.

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Barton Fink explains that he isn't sure but will be staying "indefinitely".

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Barton Fink, she says, represents an author who is able to leave a story, while characters like Charlie cannot.

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Barton Fink's rooms are bathed in sunlight, and Ben Geisler's office faces a lush array of flora.

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Barton Fink meets Lipnick in one scene beside an enormous, spotless swimming pool.

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Later, when Barton Fink celebrates the completed script by dancing at a USO show, he is surrounded by soldiers.

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Picture in Barton Fink's room of a woman at the beach is a central focus for both the character and camera.

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Barton Fink suggests that the identical images point to the absurdity of art which reflects life directly.

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Actor Turturro referred to it as a coming of age story, while literature professor and film analyst R Barton Palmer calls it a Kunstlerroman, highlighting the importance of the main character's evolution as a writer.

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Barton Fink compares it to The Hours, a film about Virginia Woolf and two women who read her work.

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Barton Fink asserts that both films, far from rejecting the importance of the past, add to our understanding of it.

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Barton Fink uses several stylistic conventions to accentuate the story's mood and give visual emphasis to particular themes.

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For example, it would have been incongruous for Barton Fink to wake up at the end of the film and for us to suggest thereby that he actually inhabited a reality greater than what is depicted in the film.

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For example, Barton Fink is summoned by a bell while dining in New York City; its sound is light and pleasant.

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When he finishes writing his script, Barton Fink celebrates by dancing at a United Service Organizations show.

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Character of Barton Fink is loosely based on Clifford Odets, a playwright from New York who in the 1930s joined the Group Theatre, a gathering of dramatists which included Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford, and Lee Strasberg.

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Barton Fink often invited women into his apartment, and he describes many of his affairs in the diary.

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Coen brothers have stated that although the character of Fink is based on Odets, the character's appearance with "stand-up hair and glasses" is based on that of George S Kaufmann.

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Barton Fink feels close to the theatre, confident that it can help him create work that honors "the common man".

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Later, as Barton Fink tries to explain why he is staying at the Earle, studio head Jack Lipnick finishes his sentence, recognizing that Barton Fink wants a place that is "less Hollywood".

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Deception in Barton Fink is emblematic of Hollywood's focus on low culture, its relentless desire to efficiently produce formulaic entertainment for the sole purpose of economic gain.

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Capitol Pictures assigns Barton Fink to write a wrestling picture with superstar Wallace Beery in the leading role.

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In both West's novel and Barton Fink, protagonists suffer under the oppressive industrial machine of the film studio.

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Barton Fink is trapped between his own desire to create meaningful art and Capitol Pictures' need to use its standard conventions to earn profits.

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Several lines of dialogue make clear by the film's end that Barton Fink has become a slave to the studio: "[T]he contents of your head", Lipnick's assistant tells him, "are the property of Capitol Pictures".

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Barton Fink was ranked by Greg Cwik of IndieWire as the Coens' fifth best film.

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Coen brothers have expressed interest in making a sequel to Barton Fink called Old Fink, which would take place in the 1960s.

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Barton Fink said "you'll have to wait another 10 years for that, at least".

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