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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Neo-noir Film #4: Fargo

Greetings!  First, allow me a moment to thank everyone who was able to make it to Memento, hopefully you've had some time to think about what happened in the film because at the start of our next meeting there will be a test....ok, that isn't true, but I'm glad you all stuck with it, it can be a somewhat challenging film, but a challenging film is a film that makes you think!  Secondly, I'm here to announce the next title in our Summer Neo-noir film series!  This next film will be the second in our series directed by the masterful Joel and Ethan Coen (who directed our first film Blood Simple).  Fargo is perhaps the one film in our series that somewhat strays from the traditional dark and shadowy style generally found in noir and neo-noir (some others have but not as much), taking place in the blinding white of snowy Minneapolis, Minnesota and Fargo, North Dakota.  This being said, the film does maintin many of the themes we have seen in our other films in the series: kidnapping, murder, revenge, double crossing, criminal investigations, etc.

Fargo is a 1996 American dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.  It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who investigates a series of local homicides, and William H. Macy as a struggling car salesman who hires two criminals to kidnap his wife.  The film also features Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare, and Harve Presnell, as well as the work of one of my favorite cinematographers in business, Roger Deakins.  The film earned seven Academy Award nominations, winning two for Best Original Screenplay for the Coens and Best Actress in a Leading Role for McDormand.  In 2006, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and inducted into the United States National Film Registry for preservation, making it one of only five films to be preserved in its first year of eligibility.

Fargo was met with widespread critical acclaim, currently holding a 94% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on reviews from 84 critics.  Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert both named Fargo the best film of 1996.  It was also Ebert's fourth favorite of the 1990s.  He awarded the film 4/4 stars and later added it to his list of Great Movies.  In his original review he said this of the film: "Fargo begins with an absolutely dead-on familiarity with smalltown life in the frigid winter landscape of Minnesota and North Dakota.  Then it rotates its story through satire, comedy, suspense and violence, until it emerges as one of the best films I've ever seen....films like Fargo are why I love the movies."

We will be meeting Thursday, Aug. 14th at 6:15pm, hope to see you there!

Here's the trailer:

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