Inside Llewyn Davis 2013
With Inside Llewyn Davis, Joel and Ethan Coen return to the world of humanistic dark comedy they are so good at, as evidenced by their films Fargo and Barton Fink. Focusing in on the early ’60s folk music scene in New York City’s Greenwich Village, they duo give us a fascinating, if clearly downbeat, story of a struggling folk singer negotiating his way through the burgeoning scene while simultaneously isolating himself from all of his friends along the way.

The irascible Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) has been struggling to make it in the folk music scene as a solo act ever since his partner committed suicide, but he hasn’t found much success. Living from paying gig to paying gig, sleeping on one friend’s couch to the next, and dealing with the fact that he’s gotten his friend Jim’s (Justin Timberlake) girlfriend Jean (Carey Mulligan) pregnant he finds himself increasingly isolated from his friends due to his attitude. Llewyn decides he is better off leaving town for Chicago to try to audition for a big time producer after he does a studio session for a song he feels is beneath his talents. The road trip to Chicago will be an eyeopener, bringing Llewyn face to face with the reality that, perhaps his lack of success has less to do with everyone else, and more to do with himself.

Directors: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Justin Timberlake, Ethan Phillips
Genre: Drama, Music

BD50, 2xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 01:44:50 | 45.3 Gb + 15.1 Gb + 3% rec
Language: English
Subtitles: English


Commentary - this new and very informative audio commentary features authors Robert Christgau (Going into the City), David Hajdu (Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Farina, and Richard Farina), and Sean Wilentz (Bob Dylan in America). The bulk of the information that is provided in it addresses the history of the various songs (including different versions) that are heard in the film and the singers that performed them during the years, the image of folk singer Dave Van Ronk, the social trends during the era in which the film is set, the competition between the different labels that signed folk singers, and key events from the film and how they resemble (or not) different events from Dave Van Ronk's life. The commentary was recorded exclusively for Criterion in September 2015.

Inside "Inside Llewyn Davis" - this documentary takes a closer look at the production history of Inside Llewyn Davis as well as the story of folk singer Dave Van Ronk, who was the model for the main protagonist in the film. Included in the documentary are clips from interviews with the Coens, executive music producer T Bone Burnett, writer Elijah Wald (co-author of The Mayor of MacDougal Street), costume designer Mary Zophres, Oscar Isaac, John Goodman, and Stark Sands (Troy Nelson), amongst others. The documentary was produced and directed by David Prior. In English, not subtitled. (43 min, 1080p).

The First Hundred Feet, The Last Hundred Feet - in this brand new filmed conversation, director Guillermo del Toro and writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen discuss the impact four classic films had on the evolution of their style (the films are Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Third Man, The Conformist, Mad Max), some of the unique qualities of their early characters, the important relationship between the landscape of the time and the place and the characters in their films, Llewyn Davis and his journey, the ridiculousness of the culture that is depicted in their latest film, etc. The conversation was filmed exclusively for Criterion in the fall of 2015. In English, not subtitled. (41 min, 1080p).

Another Day, Another Time - this concert film, which was inspired by the music of Inside Llewyn Davis, was shot at New York's Town Hall in September 2013. It was produced by T Bone Burnett. In English, not subtitled. (102 min, 1080p/Audio 5.1).

The Way of Folk - in this brand new featurette, executive producer T Bone Burnett and the Coen brothers discuss the history of some of the songs that heard in Inside Llywin Davies and possible origin of the stories they tells, the folk movement during the 1960s and the social and cultural ideas that it represented, the authenticity and the identity of folk music and the balance between the two, the future of folk music, etc. Included with the featurette are illustrations by Drew Christie. The featurette was created exclusively for Criterion in 2015. In English, not subtitled. (16 min, 1080p).

Before the Flood - in this video interview, Elijah Wald, who collaborated with folksinger Dave Van Ronk on his memoir, The Mayor of MacDougal Street, the identity of the folk scene in New York City during the time in which Inside Llewyn Davis takes place, the people that made music and were part of the scene, the change that occurred after the arrival of Bob Dylan, etc. The interview was conducted exclusively for Criterion in 2014. In English, not subtitled. (20 min, 1080p).

Sunday (1961) - presented here is an archival documentary by Dan Drasin that chronicles a protest rally at the fountain in New York's Washington Square on April 9, 1961. During the rally, folk musicians and the police clashed after the musicians were denied the right to continue organizing their traditional meetings there and performing their favorite songs. In English, not subtitled. (18 min, 1080i).

Trailers - presented here are six original trailers for Inside Llewyn Davis. In English, not subtitled.