Ethan Coen Says “Suspicion” of Filmmaking Is “Old and Hard” – The Hollywood Reporter

Ethan Coen says his return to directing is partly due to the pandemic.

Speaking to the Associated Press ahead of the Cannes premiere of Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in the Minda documentary about the rock and country legend being distributed by A24, Coen shares about making his first film without his brother Joel, stepping back from directing and why he’s still unfinished film work.

“What changed is I started to get bored,” he said when asked about his return to the documentary and previous reports that his brother Coen had finished directing. “I was with Trish in New York when the lockdown started. So, you know, it’s all a little scary and claustrophobic. “

Coen says that it was during this time that T-Bone Burnett, a “friend of many years,” approached him and his wife, creative partner and editor Tricia Cooke about making a movie based on the footage. storage, that’s something they can do at home. “Honestly, the T-Bone came to us like two weeks after the pandemic, so it was a lifesaver,” Cooke said.

As for why Coen’s desire to make movies might diminish, he countered that anything, namely, is the culprit.

“Nothing happened, certainly nothing dramatic,” he began. “You started out as a kid and you wanted to make a movie. Everything is enthusiastic and gung-ho, let’s make a movie. And the first movie is just loads of fun. And then the second movie was so much fun, almost as enjoyable as the first. And after 30 years, it’s not without fun, it’s more of a job than it did. ”

Coen went on to note that his brother Joel “feels the same way” but not to the extent that he does. It’s an inevitable by-product of aging, Coen continues. “And the last two movies we made, me and Joel together, were really difficult in terms of production. I mean, really hard. So if you don’t need to do that, you come to a certain point: Why am I doing this? ”

As for what got them stuck, Coen spoke about the larger process of making a movie, which he describes as increasingly like a “crush”.

“It’s just a little old and tough,” he explained. “It was production experience and did it – I don’t know how many years, maybe 35 years. That’s the filmmaking experience. More of a grind and less fun. “

Cooke also offered her own perspective, pointing out how their personal lives have changed outside of film production and how, once again, the situation has turned around – sparking renewed interest. A renewed interest in not only the documentary Jerry Lee Lewis (who directed his first film without Joel), but their upcoming lesbian sex comedy.

“I don’t want to tell Ethan, but I know for myself, at some point, I stopped cutting back, pretty much, because my priorities changed,” she told the outlet. “And now our kids are grown and we still get along and have fun doing everything together. Joel and Ethan, we’ve written a few of these things, and they’re always like, ‘We’re going to put them in the drawer. The kids will find them one day. ‘ Now we’re here like, OK, let’s do it. Open that drawer and see if someone wants to make this movie.”

As for whether he will return to work with his brother, Coen said that “nothing is definitive.”

“Going our separate ways sounds like it could be the end,” he said. “But none of this happened definitively. No decision is definitive. We can make another movie. I don’t know what my next movie will be like. The pandemic happened. I turned into a big kid and quit my job, and then the pandemic hit. Then other things happen and who knows? “

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