Barton Fink

bartonfinkYear: 1991

Synopsis: Barton Fink is a New York playwright hired to write a Hollywood film in 1941, and suffers from writers block, along with the bizarre realities of a place unfamiliar to him.

Pros:
• John Turturro, along with the rest of the cast, do a perfect job bringing the madness of the film to life.
• There was no film quite like it before or since.
• Successfully plays with the primal emotions associated with flawed heroes, anxiety, loneliness, isolation, and involuntary servitude.
• An uncomfortable fever dream of a film.
• Experimental storytelling at its finest.

Cons:
• Some might find the film hard to understand, given its lack of defined genre.
• Lacks any direct message.
• There is no true resolution for Fink.

Discussion:
“[celebrating at USO club] I’m a writer, you monsters! I create! I create for a living! I’m a creator! I am a creator. [points to head] This is my uniform! This is how I serve the common man!”

This was a film that came about when the masters of the surreal, the Coen Brothers, experienced writer’s block while writing the slightly more conventional Miller’s Crossing (1990). It might be considered the superior work out of its truly experimental nature. Many other inspirations went into the story of Barton Fink, but the film plays out as a kind of nightmare the filmmakers must have had when they felt they could not complete Crossing. What does a writer do when they do not know where to even start? How can a writer handle the possibility of others not liking a finally completed script? Anyone who was required to write anything in their lives could identify out of that horrifying moment when we do not know where to go next with the work that must be done. Fink might be an extreme, but Fink may be a dark reflection of life’s most uncomfortable moments.


Rotten Tomatoes — 91%

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