Burn After Reading Debuts at Venice Film Fest

The cast of the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Reading, featuring Brooklyn Heights as Georgetown, premiered at the Venice Film Festival last week.  It opens in theaters here on September 12.  The film’s stars, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, John Malkovich and Tilda Swinton, were in our neighborhood last October shooting the flick at various locations on Hicks, Middagh and State Streets.  Relive the excitment via BHB’s Burn After Reading coverage.

Time Magazine’s Richard Corliss was “baffled” by the madcap spy flick:

Time Magazine: Baffled…: In this desultory spy caper — which had its world premiere as the opening night selection at the Venice Film Festival, and will play the Toronto Film Festival later this week — they take George Clooney and Brad Pitt, those modern icons of sex and savoir-faire, drop them in the world of Washington, D.C., espionage, then keep ratcheting down their emotional IQs. They turn Frances McDormand (Mrs. Joel Coen off-screen) into a mad-man loser with a severe self-image problem. The characters’ lives get more desperate as the camera style retains its affectless sheen.

So the viewer’s fun, such as it is, comes from guessing where the movie is headed and why it’s going there. The ultimate question, from this admirer of virtually all the brothers’ work, from the early Blood Simple and Miller’s Crossing to their previous Clooney collaborations O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Intolerable Cruelty, is a plaintive “What the heck kind of film is this?”

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  • my2cents

    Lebowski has taught me never ever listen again to what any reviewer says about a Coen Brothers film. I can’t wait to see this one! I am excited to see our fine neighborhood on film, but I must say having been to Georgetown that the Heights really doesn’t resemble it all that much, even with the houses repainted in pastel hues. I would love for the hood to be filmed as itself next time we have to put up with such an ordeal.