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'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis

Related thread:
Song from Llewin Davis - discussion? (12)


Ernest 04 Dec 13 - 12:25 PM
Ernest 05 Dec 13 - 01:32 PM
voyager 19 Dec 13 - 03:01 PM
Mark Ross 19 Dec 13 - 04:12 PM
ChanteyLass 20 Dec 13 - 08:35 PM
Mark Ross 21 Dec 13 - 01:19 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Dec 13 - 04:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Dec 13 - 05:01 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Dec 13 - 05:15 AM
Desert Dancer 21 Dec 13 - 10:18 AM
Ernest 21 Dec 13 - 11:00 AM
ChanteyLass 22 Dec 13 - 08:18 PM
Mark Ross 23 Dec 13 - 01:28 PM
10r 23 Dec 13 - 05:32 PM
Mark Ross 23 Dec 13 - 06:38 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Dec 13 - 07:53 PM
Mark Ross 24 Dec 13 - 12:05 AM
Mark Ross 24 Dec 13 - 12:24 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Jan 14 - 05:19 PM
GUEST,ollaimh 07 Jan 14 - 12:49 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 07 Jan 14 - 05:40 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 07 Jan 14 - 05:50 AM
Seamus Kennedy 07 Jan 14 - 06:28 PM
Stringsinger 08 Jan 14 - 11:59 AM
PHJim 08 Jan 14 - 02:45 PM
GUEST,Jaan 08 Jan 14 - 09:22 PM
Mark Clark 09 Jan 14 - 07:40 PM
Bat Goddess 13 Jan 14 - 06:37 PM
Dorothy Parshall 13 Jan 14 - 08:42 PM
Mark Ross 13 Jan 14 - 10:00 PM
Bat Goddess 14 Jan 14 - 10:07 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 14 - 12:16 AM
Joe Offer 17 Jan 14 - 01:17 AM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 14 - 02:11 AM
dick greenhaus 17 Jan 14 - 08:59 AM
Edthefolkie 17 Jan 14 - 02:55 PM
Big Al Whittle 17 Jan 14 - 09:27 PM
Edthefolkie 18 Jan 14 - 12:09 PM
PHJim 18 Jan 14 - 12:42 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 18 Jan 14 - 03:13 PM
JJ 20 Jan 14 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Bat Goddess 20 Jan 14 - 08:25 AM
Stringsinger 20 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jan 14 - 05:05 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Jan 14 - 11:21 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Jan 14 - 07:29 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Jan 14 - 07:35 AM
JJ 22 Jan 14 - 10:15 AM
Will Fly 22 Jan 14 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 25 Jan 14 - 02:51 AM
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Subject: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Ernest
Date: 04 Dec 13 - 12:25 PM

I know there have been a couple of earlier threads about this movie, but all of them started and ended before it came to the cinemas - so I think it is time for a new one.

Having no personal knowledge of the Greenwich village folk scene in the early sixties I liked the movie: nice laid back music, good dialogues, good acting, and a good story as well. Strange but realistic that the main character is largely unable to show feelings/communicate without insulting others outside of his music (for instance in the scene where he literally explodes when Mrs. Gofein joins in instead of simply admitting that the suicide of his partner Mikey still hurts to much*), can`t deceide to visit his ex-girlfriend/child when he drives by their hometown on the way back from Chicago, often generally behaving like ab asshole with other musicians) or picking the wrong songs to the occasion ("Death of Queen Jane would have been more appropriate with the Gofein`s guest who was a pianist specializing in old music than with a producer/club owner) Also good choice of actors/faces (the Gofein`s guests appeared quite freakish to me...).

Apart from your impressions of the music & acting I´d be intetested in any reminiscences about the folk scene at that time and place - there shold be some catters who had been there....

Best wishes
Ernest


*= I have experienced similar things with musicians


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Ernest
Date: 05 Dec 13 - 01:32 PM

refresh - are you still afraid the guy with the suit in the back lane will beat you up?


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: voyager
Date: 19 Dec 13 - 03:01 PM

We saw a screening of the film here in Denver (for free!). Without getting sucked into all the media, hype, I'd say I enjoyed the film most for the songs (especially Dink's Song, Green Rocky Road and Death of Queen Jane) -

Llewyn Davis Soundtrack

voyager


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 19 Dec 13 - 04:12 PM

From my old friend and former manager Terri Thal, who was DVR's 1st wife
This her view of the new Coen Brothers' movie



Dave Van Ronk's Ex-Wife Takes Us Inside Inside Llewyn Davis

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 20 Dec 13 - 08:35 PM

This is from the Boston Globe about one of the other characters in the film. http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/12/19/new-bedford-folk-hero-paul-clayton-colors-inside-llewyn-davis/ngl8FfziaiKeahUS1


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 21 Dec 13 - 01:19 AM

ChanteyLass, the link is broken.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 13 - 04:58 AM

Try just copy-pasting this (the above URL seems to be incomplete, but I can't make the Mudcat clickifier work either, even with the full one):

http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/music/2013/12/19/new-bedford-folk-hero-paul-clayton-colors-inside-llewyn-davis/ngl8FfziaiKeahUS1mHDoM/story.html


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 13 - 05:01 AM

Wow, that is one interesting story (finally managed to actually read it) - thanks Chanteylass! I'd never even heard of Paul Clayton. Going to seek him out now -


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Dec 13 - 05:15 AM

Also see:

http://compvid101.blogspot.ie/2011/06/paul-clayton-john-steinbeck-open-road.html

and this Mudcat thread (with other related blue links at the top):

Wanted: Memories of Paul Clayton

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=79933


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Dec 13 - 10:18 AM

New Bedford singer inspires 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

~ Becky in Tucson (visiting)


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Ernest
Date: 21 Dec 13 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for all the Input so far!

Especially for the link to the interview with Dave van Ronks ex-wife. Lots of interesting details even if I disagree a litte: the film might be inspired by Dave van Ronk & others, but it is not about actual persons...


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: ChanteyLass
Date: 22 Dec 13 - 08:18 PM

I'm glad you got to the Boston Globe article in spite of the broken link! Thank you for that, Bonnie and Desert Dancer, and thanks for the other links, too, Bonnie.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 01:28 PM

"Folk is a permanent minority form. Those who come seeking fame and fortune should be driven from its lists with whips and scorpions." Dave Van Ronk


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: 10r
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 05:32 PM

I didn't get to NYC/Greenwich Village until the 70s, but I did
experience the early folk scene in Chicago (Earl of Old Town,
the Old Town School of Folk Music, etc.)For the most part it was a friendly group. There were exceptions. Arlo Guthrie tells the story of how he met Steve Goodman and heard the song City of New Orleans, basically he admits to being an $#$%*&6. During my time in NYC I found the folk scene very friendly and welcoming. It was not unusual for people you know to invite you up to do a song with them, etc.
The mention of the Gaslight, Kettle of Fish and other clubs bring back very pleasant memories of the times I spent in those places.

I found the documentary about making Llewyn Davis pretty interesting as well as the concert film.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 06:38 PM

New City woman offers a real look inside the world of Coen brothers' 'Llewyn Da


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 07:53 PM

Dakota Dave Hull, a Twin Cities musician who actually knew Dave Van Ronk, wrote his own comments about the movie in the St Paul Pioneer Press.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 24 Dec 13 - 12:05 AM

The Best film on that era is this one by Alan Lomax;

Balllad, Blues, and Bluegrass

New Lost City Ramblers, Ernie Marrs, Roscoe Holcomb with John Cohen,
Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, Clint Howard, and Fred Price, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Jean Ritchie, Peter LaFarge, Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon, all at a party at Lomax's apartment in 1961.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 24 Dec 13 - 12:24 PM

"Folk is a permanent minority form. Those who come seeking fame and fortune should be driven from its lists with whips and scorpions." Dave Van Ronk

That says it all.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Jan 14 - 05:19 PM

Here's another good article about Paul Clayton to add to the rest. And it opens with a beautiful quote by Bob Dylan which I'd never seen before, an iconic statement which transcends its subject:

[Folk music] goes deeper than just myself singing it, it goes into legends and bibles, it goes into curses and myths, it goes into plagues, it goes into all kinds of weird things that I don't even know about, can't pretend to know about.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=%2F20140105%2FNEWS%2F40


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: GUEST,ollaimh
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 12:49 AM

I thought paul clayton wrote "gotta travel on", but the article says he copywrit a known folk song. so who did write it?


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 05:40 AM

Article says

> And he once copyrighted a ballad, "Gotta Travel On," that became a million seller for the country singer Billy Grammer.

The blog I linked to above (101.blogspot…) tells us this:

Chief among these is his "I Feel Like I Gotta Travel On," about the origins of which Clayton was always mysterious. The likeliest reason is that he had heard the basic words of the chorus in a traditional song and had incorporated them into an old W.C. Handy melody, probably "Harlem Blues." The other verses were likewise adopted from other earlier songs, making Clayton's piece one that was rather more assembled from earlier sources than actually composed.

and in one of the comments someone writes:

I was curious whether you'd heard Neil Young's cover of Gotta Travel On (featured on Americana [2012] and presented as just Travel On and credited to Paul Clayton/Larry Ehrlich/David Lazar/Tom Six).


You might look through that other Mudcat thread I cited ("Wanted: Memories of Paul Clayton") to see if anything's there - it also has some other links at the top of the page.

http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=79933


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 05:50 AM

Blogger above talks about "an old W C Handy melody" - but WCH didn't die until 1958. If there was that much resemblance between one of his tunes and Gotta Travel On, a national hit, surely the Handy estate would have sued, or at least complained? Plenty of money to be made from a commercial success like that, and it's hard to imagine they would have remained unaware of it.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 06:28 PM

The fact that they had him using a Shubb capo which weren't invented yet showed a lack of attention to detail.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 11:59 AM

There was a kernel of truth about some of the folkies that hung out in Washington Square on Sunday afternoons in 1953-through early Sixties but certainly not the majority of them
in Llewyn Davis. I think that Al Grossman wasn't unfairly represented. I worked at the Gate of Horn for about a year as a house musician accompanying acts that came through. With Al, as with Bob Grossman in the movie, it was about "seeing money in it". The damage he did to Odetta by unceremoniously dropping her from his roster to go with Dylan is unforgivable. The part I disliked mostly about the movie is the leaving of the cat with the Goodman character. It was heartbreaking. The cavalier handling of the "abortion" stuff was pretty bad too. The attitude by some of the folkies was not unlike the Davis character. These characters had the New York disease of having to prove something rather than singing and playing out of joy and love. Again, this was certainly not the case of the majority of them that I knew.

I also slept on couches and floors. Al Meyers, a lovely guy, opened his apartment to many of us on Third and MacDougal. The Village in those days (1950's throughout early 60's) was a friendly, non-threatening place to live. You could walk through the area near the Waverly Theater without worrying about being mugged or attacked. "Blackies" was the best pizza place in the city at that time.


The Coen brothers were apparently trying to make a point out of the unreal attitudes of folkies in New York at that time. Dave Van Ronk in my opinion was nothing like Llewyn Davis, nor was Paul Clayton. Dave was affable, friendly, encouraging and supportive, a genuinely nice person and we had some good laughs together. I didn't know Paul very well but he was not a cad like Davis. I think of Llewyn Davis as an extension of "The Mighty Wind" which was funny if overblown.

Again, my views are based on the fact that I was there and had left shortly before the singer songwriter happening through "Fast Folk", "Caravan" and Sis Cunningham's publication, "Broadside printed Paxton, Dylan and other's creations.

Izzy Young of the Folklore Center would never have tolerated Llewyn Davis in his store and told many to get out of his store if they supported the Vietnam War. Always admired Izzy for that.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: PHJim
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 02:45 PM

Has anyone posted Christine Lavin's opinion of the film yet?

Christine Lavin on Inside LD

Christine's bias is that she was a friend and protégé of Dave Van Ronk.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: GUEST,Jaan
Date: 08 Jan 14 - 09:22 PM

Ollaimh, Paul Clayton's "Gotta Travel On" appears to be largely taken from "High Sheriff and Police" recorded by Ollis Martin in in 1927. You can hear it at http://youtu.be/YUXhxh7Agv0


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 Jan 14 - 07:40 PM

As has been mentioned, Paul Clayton was a prolific recording artist. He even did at least one album on the Tradition label with Jean Ritchie. The Tradition label was, I think, a project of Tom Clancy and his brothers. It was Paul Clayton, together with Diane Hamilton and Liam Clancy who, in 1956, made the field recordings which became Tradition's TLP 1007 LP, "The Instrumental Music of the Southern Appalachians." That was perhaps the seminal album that turned thousands of college students into fingerpicking guitar players. Tracks include "One Dime Blues," "Railroad Bill," "John Henry," and "Bully of the Town" played by Mrs. Etta Baker. Soon versions of those numbers would be heard on every college campus in the US and probably beyond.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 06:37 PM

Went to see the film yesterday with friends (folkies -- one USian, his wife a Scot) and found it was a very INTERESTING film...

Cinematography was excellent, but I'm still trying to figure out, though, the intended meaning of that loop -- Llewyn getting beaten up at the beginning of the film and then the reprise (but with a different sound track) at the end. Dylan was the soundtrack to his downfall as a musician, perhaps?

As a history of the time and place -- lousy. So much so that figuring out who characters were "supposed to be" is more or less meaningless. It's fiction set in a known location and time.

I found Llewyn to be quite unlikeable...and, until that last song he performed, he seemed to have no real interest or passion for the music. (But he wasn't cold and calculating either. In fact, he seemed to lack business sense.) One wondered what he was actually doing there; what was he looking for? Maybe a story that made sense could have been made if the Coens had focused on how he was feeling after his musical partner suicided off the bridge.

Got this from a quotes site: < Llewyn Davis: "What, quit? Just exist?"
Joy tries to talk some sense into Llewyn, to urge him to seek out a real job and try to give up his music career. Llewyn sees it differently. Without music, he simply exists rather than contributes.">>

No. He doesn't ACT as if making music means anything to him, that it is better than any other "job", or that without performing he would be simply existing.

There were some very funny moments and great lines -- "Where's his scrotum?!?" I think I'm going to get some mileage out of that line. (Hmmm...it could probably be asked of the film itself...)

I'm not sure what the Coen Brothers wanted the film to be... It was a dark existential story of some sort... But it COULD have been a comedy with a few minor changes. Parts of it were reminiscent of the Jim Jarmusch film "Stranger Than Paradise" in that regard.

Some anachronisms and some things gotten entirely WRONG, such as the scene with the abortion doctor. Nope. Wouldn't have happened like that. What part of "illegal" don't the film makers understand? And the cops in the Flatland (Indiana? Sure looked like northern Indiana... "Welcome to Indiana. Still Flat" or "Welcome to Indiana - "Flatter Than Ohio") would NOT have taken the driver and left the occupants and the car there by the side of the road. AND, the word "fuck" was not (in my experience, at least) used much at all by anyone, even musicians, in the early '60s...or in the late '60s and early '70s. At least not in all the nuances of meaning as used in the film. For the sex act alone, perhaps. But that's it. Other words were used much more -- god damn, shit, son of a bitch, bastard... Back in the early '70s Bob Canney from Alfred, Maine was arrested while speaking at an anti-war rally in Florida for saying "God damn war." He was still fighting it, but had been released from jail, when I lived in the next town a few years later.

I'm glad I saw "Inside Llewyn Davis". And, if it comes closer (it was Hookset where we saw it; Cinemagic, the most comfortable theater I've ever been in), I'll probably see it again with Jeri.

Linn


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Dorothy Parshall
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 08:42 PM

It sounds to me as though Linn is saying, this is an interesting film with many errors of time and place and sub-culture but good cinematography. In other words, if you were there or have good friends who were there, do not expect it to be about there. Just enjoy an interesting film about a troubled young would-be musician, with some good music and a lot of "those words".   

And if she is going again, it must be worth seeing.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Mark Ross
Date: 13 Jan 14 - 10:00 PM

I saw the movie this weekend. Having spent a number of years living in and around the Village starting in 1967 (though I did start going down there in '63), I did have to see it. I mean Elijah Wald who co-wrote the book with Dave Van Ronk is an old friend, for that matter I was friends with Dave who was my first influence as a guitar player (I can still play half the songs from the FOLKSINGER LP). It's a good movie, beautifully photographed, well acted, Oscar Isaac's guitar playing was more than acceptable (which is more than you can say for the rest of the actors who appear on screen playing instruments), but it's not a film that I would have to see again. The only really likeable character in the film really is the cat.

Like I said I was in the Village for the tail end of the Great Folk Music Scare of the '60's and I remember it very fondly (and well, despite my excessive intake of various nostrums). I would love to be back there, especially if I could go back with the knowledge and tools I have at my command these days. But I wouldn't want to go back to the Village as it's prese4nted in "Inside LLewyn Davis". And don't get me started on some of the anachronisms I saw in the film. Well, why not? The capo that Davis using on his guitar in when he's playing Green, Green Rocky Road is a Shubb, which wasn't invented until 1980. So what? you ask. Well, when Davis is playing Hang Me, Oh Hang Me at the Gaslight he is using a period correct Hamilton clamp capo. A slight lack of attention to detail I'd say. But mainly, except for the scenes onstage, or auditioning, or in the recording studio nobody seems to be playing music for fun. I mean, I was a professional houseguest a good bit of the time there, and noone is walking around with their guitar, much less picking it up at every opportunity. The best thing that you can say about this film is that perhaps it will do the same thing as the first Folk Scare 50 years ago, and inspire somebody to dig deeper into where the music came from, and maybe some kid will start to wonder who DVR was. If that happens I will be satisfied that this film has served some useful purpose. And it's nice that The Mayor of MacDougal Street, Dave's memoir is being reprinted. As Terri Thal, Dave's 1st wife said, "Dave is getting more written about him now than he ever got in his lifetime."


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Llewyn Davis
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 14 Jan 14 - 10:07 AM

I've got a friend who is a fact checker for a Hollywood studio. He says the only facts the suits care about are ones that get them in trouble with the legal department, that could get them sued. Nothing else matters.

Things like that capo are doubly annoying because they got it RIGHT in one scene.

Just enjoy the cinematography and the story as a complete piece of fiction. I still think the Coen's were unsure what they really wanted to portray. Llewyn's malaise and confusion as to how he wants to spend the rest of his life could be explored as being a result of his musical partner's (and, I assume, friend) suicide. That would be a good story right there. And there's the whole comic side of the film that could have turned the film in a whole different direction.

And what DOES that loop of beginning and ending on Llewyn's (well-deserved) beating really mean?

Linn


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Subject: Inside Llewin Davis
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 12:16 AM

I'm sure there must already be a thread by our stateside buddies - but a search didn't reveal it to me.

still whaddya make of that....?


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 01:17 AM

Hi, Al - yeah, it had a misleading title, but I changed it and combined the threads.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 02:11 AM

thanks Joe - much appreciated!

the film still isn't anywhere over here as far as I see. But I sent for the script and the album straightaway.
Dave Van Ronk's Bad Dream Blues and Green Green Rocky Road were my introduction to open tunings. His version of St Louis Tickle was my introduction to ragtime guitar. I never saw him live but he's there every day when I pick up my guitar.

You feel like one of these train spotter types who notice that Hercule Poirot is sitting on the wrong design of railway carriage - but the anachronisms are bloody irritating. Llewyn was supposed to sing Shoals of Herring when he was eight - although MacColl only wrote it a couple of years before for Singing the Fishing.

I suppose what the Coen brothers are saying is that this music is worthy of your attention, and that it came out of artistic intensity and effort. a bit like that kirk douglas film about van gogh. and intensity - the cinema is really too much of a cartoon medium to convey inclusive chubby characters like Van Ronk and MacColl - they have to be hollow cheekboned suffering geniuses.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Inside Llewyn Davis
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 08:59 AM

Of course, there was more than one folk scene in Greenwich Village in the 50's and the pre-commercial 60's


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 02:55 PM

Very interesting thread. I think I'll reserve judgment until I've seen the movie.

Thanks for the links Mark (Terri Thal, and the Ballads, Blues and Bluegrass DVD). My daughter kindly got me the "Mayor of MacDougal Street" when it came out and I loved it. I'm too young - just - to have made it over to Greenwich Village in 1961 but I wish I could have. I've ordered the DVD so let's hope it plays in the UK. Worth a punt anyway.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 17 Jan 14 - 09:27 PM

you can't help but think that the film gives an opportunity for those of us with some recollection of the cold war era to soberly reflect on our present situation.

Greenwich village's folk community may well have dispersed - but their songs echoed in corners of the world unimagined by their creators.

as a young teenager growing up in Lincolnshire, the airfields that we biked past had rockets and planes loaded with atom bombs - and where have all the flowers done, and blowing in the wind seemed almost written for us. similarly when the trouble kicked off in Northern Ireland - it was under the banner of civil rights - a phrase which had so many resonances of Martin Luther King and Pete Seeger singing If You Miss Me on the back of the Bus.

does it not stir similar sentiments elsewhere - what the music of that era meant to us.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 12:09 PM

Ian Jack of the Guardian spotted a howler in the film!

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/17/inside-llewyn-davis-flaws-film


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: PHJim
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 12:42 PM

I was glad to see that I am not the only one bothered by musical anachronisms in films.
When I mentioned that Johnny Cash wouldn't have been playing a Martin with a black pick-guard in the 1950s as in the movie Walk The Line or Woody Guthrie wouldn't have been playing a Mossman guitar as he did in Bound For Glory, my non-musical friends tell me I'm being petty, but these same friends would "have a cow" if someone was pictured driving an Edsel in a movie set in 1950.

I must mention to Linn, that a common expression among my friends in the sixties was, "Well, that really throws a fuck into our plans." I don't think the word's usage is as recent as you might think.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 18 Jan 14 - 03:13 PM

Interesting live interview with the Coen brothers on BBC Radio 4's Front Row programme, which is available worldwide:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03phd4r


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: JJ
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 08:15 AM

I cannot shake the feeling that the Coens don't really like folk music very much. There's something OFF about every performer other than Llewyn, even the "Clancy Brothers."

Is this because they consider Llewyn "authentic," (that eternal bugaboo of the folk scene) while the others are considered bland poseurs?

It's February, 1961. Later that year, Albert Grossman's trio of Peter, Paul and Mary will make its sweet, harmonic debut, and Llewyn will doubtless gag...


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: GUEST,Bat Goddess
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 08:25 AM

PHJim, in the musical circles I traveled in (Milwaukee, mid to late '60s), it was not often used except for talking about sex. The expletive of choice (and descriptive) was "shit".

Linn


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 01:41 PM

I think what the Coen's pointed out is that there was a lot of pretense about being "authentic" in those days. The ones that cared most about that were not from rural places but from New York and Boston. What Llewyn Davis represented was the contradictory attempt at some folkies to become both "authentic" and "commercial" at the same time.
Woody was never commercial in his day and would not be known if it weren't for Alan Lomax and Pete Seeger. "This Land is Your Land" became well-known after Woody was in Greystone.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 05:05 PM

Woody's authenticity as as carefully (and more skillfully) worked out than were Dylan's and Elliot's.

Funny thing about authenticity----once you learn to fake that successfully, you've got it made.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Jan 14 - 11:21 PM

I think the film (I have only read the script) says some important thought provoking things about our music.

It would be perhaps silly of me to comment further without having seen the movie. But from where I'm standing - the concept of a musician getting nowhere in a genre that at its deepest level is going nowhere seems brilliant.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 07:29 AM

Your comments are always of interest, Big Al - nothing silly about them! But I would put a different spin on the last one.

I think "going nowhere" is overly pessimistic. After all, this music been Going Nowhere for centuries, and still it survives. How many pop songs can say the same? That genre thrives commercially, but its individual flowers bloom and wither in a very short time, and are then gone forever. For "going nowhere" I would substitute:

… at its deepest level thrives underground, nourished from some hidden wellspring that never breaks the surface, but also never runs dry.

The artist being true to him/herself is an archetype that will never die. It's not about money - which is both why our music fails or struggles in the marketplace, and why it endures.


[Michael, what did you put in my morning coffee…?]


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Jan 14 - 07:35 AM

Bob Dylan's comments on the subject are worth a replay:

[Folk music] goes deeper than just myself singing it, it goes into legends and bibles, it goes into curses and myths, it goes into plagues, it goes into all kinds of weird things that I don't even know about, can't pretend to know about.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: JJ
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 10:15 AM

Interesting how the Coens conflate Phil Ochs with Van Ronk in the form of Llewyn Davis. His friends are Jim and Jean (perhaps the only names in the film that go unchanged), and he has a sister who lives a long subway ride away in one of the outer boroughs of NYC.

Jim Glover was Phil's roommate at Ohio State, I believe.

Phil's sister was named Sunny. She lived in Far Rockaway (Brooklyn). Llewyn's is named Joy. I don't recognize her street from the movie, but someone will.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: Will Fly
Date: 22 Jan 14 - 10:42 AM

What inspires a film, and what shape that film eventually takes, can be two very different things. The original theme can be a basic platform on which to place and juxtapose ideas and arguments - but then those ideas and arguments take on a life of their own.

So it might be that, although DVRs memoirs inspired the original theme and structure of this film, the Coens superimposed their own questions, arguments and ideas on it. I haven't seen the film - I'm just talking about the role of cinema in an abstract way - and may or may not see it. (I generally don't find films about music very satisfying - "Spinal Tap" being the exception!)

Unless a film is billed as a representation of an actual person - Johnny Cash, General Patton, Glenn Miller, etc. - then relating it to an actuality that you think you remember can be difficult and unsatisfactory.


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Subject: RE: 'Insight' - Inside Llewyn Davis
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 25 Jan 14 - 02:51 AM

I saw the film yesterday. As an Englishman, whose only knowledge of the '60's New York folkscene was via a subscription to "Sing Out" magazine, it is hard for me to make a judgement as to the film's historical accuracy. What I can say is that I enjoyed seeing it, though I suspect that many will find it somewhat puzzling, being the story of somebody who just keeps on making the same old mistakes over and over again. I suppose that, being a Cohen Brothers film, things fell into place when we discovered that the other central character, the cat, was called Ulysses. In other words, James Joyce meets Groundhog Day. But, what a joy to hear the ballad "Queen Jane" sung with great integrity as an audition piece. Few others would have chosen it. And that, I suppose, is what makes the film, and its central character, stand out. Say what you like about the film, but you do have to admit that the Cohen Brothers really do know how to make a film.


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