Trouble in Mind’ – Deadline
Four-time Oscar winner Ethan Coen has opened up about why he took a recent break from filmmaking, as well as his comeback with the documentary Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mindwhich makes its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday.
Coen had been making movies with his brother Joel for decades when news broke that he would not be involved in his recent Apple feature. Macbeth’s Tragedy— sparking curiosity about whether he might be done with movies for good. The split of the iconic Coen brothers, responsible for titles as enduring as There is no country for old people and Fargo, stunned the world, given the couple’s long and successful creative history. But in an interview with the Associated Press released on Sunday, which has him in conversation with his wife and creative partner Tricia Cooke, Ethan Coen explains that there was “nothing dramatic” that spurred the move.
“You start when you’re a kid and you want to make a movie. It’s all excitement and excitement, let’s go make a movie. And the first movie is just a lot of fun,” the filmmaker said. “And then the second movie is a lot of fun. , almost as much fun as the first. And after 30 years, not that it’s not fun, but it’s more of a job than it was.
Coen notes that his brother Joel experienced similar feelings, but “not to the extent that he did”, calling them an “inevitable by-product” of aging. “The last two movies that we did, me and Joel together, were really tough in terms of production. I mean, really tough. So if you don’t have to, you’re wondering at a certain dot: Why am I doing this? he said, “It was just getting a little old and difficult… the production experience… More complicated and less fun.”
Coen said his return to filmmaking with doc Jerry Lewis, first unveiled as part of the Cannes 2022 lineup, came as he “became bored” and “claustrophobic” during the Covid lockdown. It was during this period that his longtime friend T-Bone Burnett approached Coen and Cooke about making their first feature-length documentary, noting that it would be a heavy archive footage project, that they could finish at home. Coen suggested this notion was too compelling to dismiss, calling Burnett a “lifeline”.
During his time with AP, Coen was also asked if he might ever return to directing alongside his brother, explaining that he wasn’t sure yet. “Following our own separate paths seems to suggest this could be final. But none of this happened permanently. None of the decisions are final,” he noted. “We could make another movie. I don’t know what my next film will be after that. The pandemic has happened. I became a big baby and got bored and quit, then the pandemic happened. Then other things happen and who knows?
The Coens won their first Oscar for their Fargo screenplay in 1997, claiming three statuettes – in the Best Picture, Directing and Adapted Screenplay categories – for their 2007 film There is no country for old people. Ethan Coen’s first documentary Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind promises to offer an electrifying insight into the complex life and thrilling, unparalleled performances of rock and roll’s first and craziest practitioner: Jerry Lee Lewis. A24 will post the photo later this year.