The Coen Brothers Get Folky

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Last year, Joel and Ethan Coen had their biggest box office hit with the Western True Grit, so of course, many wondered what they might do next. According to an exclusive story at the L.A. Times’ 24 Frames, Joel and Ethan’s next movie will be working on a script based on the life of musician Dave van Ronk, who played a part in the Greenwich Village coffeehouse scene that played a large part in the New York folk scene of the ’60s.

Van Ronk, who passed away in 2002 at 66, was a big player on that scene, according to the story, known for his “musical acumen, left-wing politics, general erudition and entertaining storytelling” as he was around during the discovery of the likes of Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. His memoir “The Mayor of MacDougal Street,” published a few years after his death, is part of the inspiration for the Coens’ script.

At a talk they did earlier this month at the Lincoln Center’s new Elinor Munroe Film Center, the brothers told moderator Noah Baumbach that they were working on a musical-based film which they compared to Baumbach’s own film Margot at the Wedding with natural dialogue and “music [that’s] pretty much all performed live, single instrument.” This will be their first musically-influenced movie since their 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou?, starring George Clooney, which was nominated for two Oscars.