Thursday, January 20

‘So Hold It?’: The Stars and Co-Creator of Fargo on Its 25th Anniversary | Fargo

It’s not just that snow covers every scene of the Coen brothers’ early triumph, Fargo; coldness has seeped into the DNA of each scene, informing its appearance and worldview. From the existential indignity of having to remove a layer of ice from your car windshield to costume improvisations inspired by subzero temperatures, few capture that icy essence with such total commitment.

And yet the film felt right at home in the warm summer breeze on Friday night, screened at Pier 76 in Manhattan for a Tribeca film festival event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “murder mystery.” homemade “, as the famous embroidered poster describes it.

The post-screening Q&A endeavored to cover the many, many things I love about Fargo, the first image of the Coen brothers to earn one-sided masterpiece status. Press-reluctant director Joel Coen, his wife Frances McDormand, the film’s star, and scene thief Steve Buscemi (billed as “abused, from face to last foot”) gathered to shed new Light on a Critical Situation and Commercial Success was thoroughly scrutinized from the college dorms to the art house.

McDormand nodded at the slight absurdity of revisiting and reevaluating something that never really lost popularity at first, took the stage and yelled at the audience, “So is it sticking?” to a hearty round of laughter.

The assembled talent does not share the devoted movie buff’s annual review policy, however, he was somewhat uncomfortable about the trip back in time. “You want to do something you’ve never seen before, and then when it’s finished, you realize you can never see it yourself,” Coen explained, with characteristic philosophical depth. He confessed to having “difficulty seeing [his movies] without just seeing the flaws, “while McDormand had commemorative events like these dead to rights as” depressing, but they can be fun. “

She elaborated further: “It’s not fair that we have to see ourselves so young sometimes.”

FILM PHOTOGRAPHS 'FARGO' - 1996 No Merchandising.  Editorial use only.  Unused Book Cover Mandatory Credit: Everett Collection Photo / Rex Features (415402f) Frances McDormand MOVIE PHOTOS OF 'FARGO' - 1996
Photograph: Everett Collection / Rex Feature

Even so, the mood was anything but melancholic as the easy and heartfelt conversation continued between three people with the comfortable relationship of old friends because they actually are. Coen recalled how Fargo’s production was slow to get underway, sitting at a desk as the brothers redirected attention to their homage to the wacko The Hudsucker Proxy. “I remember you told me about this during Barton Fink, and then you made another movie!” Buscemi said. “But okay, I’ll wait!” Referring to the common joke that his character is “a little funny,” the actor continued: “[Joel] He said, ‘Your character is going to be a very handsome guy.’ I don’t know what happened after that. “

The laughs were more abundant than one would expect from a chat with the laconic Coen, the supposedly difficult, open and generous interview subject. With a slight laugh, he recalled that hunting season saw unusually small snowfall, to the point where they had to “go further and further north, chasing the snow.”

The star of the show may have been the character of Marge herself, an outlier in every way. A matron but firm, hyper-competent at work, and obedient to her husband, McDormand was immortalized by the small-town police and brought the actor his first Oscar. “I really wanted her to be good at her job,” McDormand said proudly. The audience learned that her pregnant police uniform did not really exist and had to be designed from scratch, although female officers began requesting the modified garments once the movie came out. Every Margie song “yah” was written, in a kind of “music” composed directly on the page. The most surprising revelation of all: that Marge’s stay in Minneapolis was not always motivated by an encounter with the human disaster Mike Yanagita.

“Are you interested in asking them to tell you about the scene I read first?” McDormand asked Coen. “Her friend invited her to a protest for the right to life!” Marge as a sign-waving conservative: what a different movie that would be.

“Fargo” 25th Anniversary Reunion - 2021 Tribeca Festival NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 18: Joel Coen, Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi speak at the “Fargo” 25th Anniversary Reunion during the 2021 Tribeca Festival in Pier 76 on June 18, 2021 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for the Tribeca Festival)
Photograph: Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for the Tribeca Festival

Buscemi relished the opportunity to play the volatile and fiery criminal Carl Showalter, a figure who joined in only once the actor got dressed. “When [costume designer Mary Zophres] He put those clothes on me and I looked at myself in the mirror, I suddenly understood who this guy is, ”he recalled. “It’s the polyester sweaters.”

He also recounted a surreal anecdote in which he and his co-star Peter Stormare were pulled over while driving, shortly after a scene in which the same situation ended with their characters murdering the cop. “I looked at Peter and he looked at me. Is this a trap? They managed to get out of a ticket. The group shared a few other details of rural life during filming, informing everyone that the town where the crew rented the infamous wood chipper drags it through the streets annually for its July 4 parade.

McDormand looked back at the imposing and creepy statue of Paul Bunyan built for the film: “We noticed that people were taking their children out before bed to look at the statue. That’s how little can be done in North Dakota. “Coen chimed in to add,” We are seriously thinking about starting a new religion. “

Of course they did, perhaps without realizing it. For the legions of fans who disagree with “I may not 100% agree with your policing there, Lou,” the movie it is a religion, a devout fan spirit evident when Coen, McDormand and Buscemi were attacked like rock stars coming off the stage. After 25 years, the adulation for this film has only grown louder, while the persistent criticism has died down. To paraphrase the sad, single Mike Yanagita: If you’re a quarter-century movie, yes, you could do a lot worse.

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