15 Pretty Damn Interesting Facts About Burn After Reading


Posted by on

Joel and Ethan Coen’s 2008 black comedy is filled with references and inside jokes. Laugh a little bit harder at Burn After Reading knowing these 15 fascinating facts.

1. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the screenplay for Burn After Reading at the same time they were writing their adaptation of No Country for Old Men.

No Country would go on to earn them Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture in 2007.

2. Burn After Reading marked the first time since their 1990 film Miller’s Crossing that the Coen Brothers didn’t work with their usual cinematographer, Roger Deakins.

Instead, eventual Academy Award-winner Emmanuel Lubezki acted as the director of photography. The Coens would work with Deakins again on every one of their films until 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis.

3. The Coens wrote the part of Osborne Cox specifically for John Malkovich.

Even though they had never worked with Malkovich before.

4. Osborne Cox, is a Princeton alum.

In real life, Princeton is director Ethan Coen’s alma mater.

5. This is the third time the Coen Brothers have worked with George Clooney.

Clooney also stars in 2000’s O Brother Where Art Thou? and 2003’s Intolerable Cruelty.

6. The role of Harry Pfarrer was also written specifically for Clooney.

7. This is the first time the Coen Brothers have worked with Brad Pitt.

But it’s the fourth time Pitt has worked on a film with George Clooney. They previously co-starred in the Ocean’s Eleven trilogy, and Pitt also had an uncredited cameo appearance in Clooney’s 2002 directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.

8. Frances McDormand is married to Joel Coen.

Her screen debut was in the Coen Brothers movie Blood Simple in 1984, and she would go on to appear in Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing (where she was uncredited), Barton Fink (with just her voice in an uncredited role), Fargo (for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress), and The Man Who Wasn’t There. She’ll also reteam with the Coens in their upcoming 2016 film Hail, Caesar!

9. Frances McDormand’s character’s bob hairdo had political roots.

It was modeled on Clinton/Lewinsky sex scandal whistleblower Linda Tripp.

10. The look of Tilda Swinton’s character is based on a familiar cartoon.

Her hairdo is the same as the one worn by Edna Krabappel on The Simpsons.

11. The editor of the movie is listed as “Roderick Jaynes.”

This is a pseudonym for Joel and Ethan Coen, who edit their own films. In fact, Jaynes, who doesn’t technically exist, has been nominated for two Academy Awards: One for Fargo and one for No Country for Old Men.

12. Osborne’s decline is showcased in his wardrobe.

In his early scenes he’s wearing a three-piece suit and wingtips, while at the end of the film he’s wearing a bathrobe and slippers.

13. Osborne’s yacht was a 79-foot ship from 1939 that the production rented on Long Island.

The interior of the yacht was a set.

14. The film’s theatrical poster is based on espionage thrillers from the 1960s.

The typography was modeled after a similar font on the poster for the 1967 film The Comedians.

15. The theatrical poster for Coming Up Daisy, the fictional movie within the movie, says it was based on a book by Cormac McCarthy.

McCarthy, as you may know, is the author of No Country for Old Men. The small snippets of Coming Up Daisy shown in the film were actually directed by the Coens’ friend and frequent collaborator, Sam Raimi.

Watch More
Documentary Now! Robert Evans Mansion

The Reel Deal

Everything You Need To Know About “Mr. Runner Up” Inspiration Robert Evans

Watch the two-part finale of Documentary Now! this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

In its upcoming two-part finale, Documentary Now! spoofs the crown jewel of docs: The Kid Stays In The Picture. It’s the autobiographical documentary about Robert Evans, the unlikely Hollywood mogul whose mix of self-aggrandizing bravado, classic good looks and extremely circumstantial good luck took him from being a salesman to an actor to the head of Paramount Pictures.

If you’ve never seen the film, it’s totally worth it. Rotten Tomatoes agrees, with a staggeringly-high approval rating. Watch it before, or watch it after — doesn’t matter. You’ll appreciate it whenever.

In the meantime, here’s a bit of background that will come in handy…

Robert Loves Robert

Robert Evans desk

USA Films/Everett Collection

Robert Evans is the ultimate Robert Evans fan. The movie was narrated by Robert Evans and based on his memoir of the same name. It is totally unbiased.

He’s Kind Of A Big Deal

Robert Evans, Chinatown
Paramount Pictures

Evans produced some of Hollywood’s true classics: Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story…the list goes on. Totally legit and amazing movies.

He’s Also Kind Of A Joke

Wag The Dog
New Line Cinema

Evans has been parodied in TV shows and movies like Entourage and Wag The Dog. He is the quintessential “producer” you already have in your head.

So Wrong He’s Right

Robert Evans Slap
20th Century Film Corp

Robert Evans is a notorious narcissist whose love of self is so blind and sincere that it’s actually adorable.

There’s Something Missing

via Giphy

Entire sections of Robert Evans’ life are left out of the documentary. Maybe it’s because of timing. Maybe it’s because real life isn’t a tidy narrative. Who knows.

He Blew It

Spider coke

Evans had a pretty spectacular fall from grace. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking in the early 80’s, and was connected to a contract killing during the production of The Cotton Club. Oops.

Losing Is For Losers

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

In the Robert Evans mythology, all tragedies are just triumphs in disguise, and every story has a happy ending…for Robert Evans.

Bill Hader Jerry Wallach

With these simple facts in hand you are now prepared to thoroughly enjoy the two-part finale of Documentary Now! starting this Wednesday at 10/9c on IFC.

Watch More

Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

Watch More
Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

Posted by on

End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet