What a treat it is to come back again and again to Raising Arizona (Coen, 1987). I have seen the film at least 20 times, and I laugh just as hard at each viewing. The Coen Brothers (Joel as director, along with Ethan as co-writer) have crafted a surreal, insane, screwball world that somehow manages to feel relatable and true in the best possible way. Or am I just talking about my relatives?
If you are a fan of the perfect word choice, or the perfect performance, or the perfect yodel, you can find something to love here. Though Nicolas Cage had not yet perfected his “Nouveau Shamanic” acting style, he never hits the wrong note, giving us HI’s tender dreamer side even with a panty on his head. Holly Hunter was a new face for most of us and imbues Ed with grit and resolve and humanity. John Goodman was born to speak the Coens’ words. I could go on and on, but I won’t. Get out your copy of Raising Arizona and quote along, because you know you want to!
What you’ll find in this episode: Cole’s connection to the musical score, why being on a film’s wavelength can be crucial, and an exploration of the “high hick” style.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out Raising Arizona on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of A Life Less Ordinary.
Cole’s further viewing pick of Vampire’s Kiss.
Cole covering Down in the Willow Garden.
Vic Chesnutt at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert