The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

True Grit


Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen recently discussed their movie adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel True Grit with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air:

Most of the dialogue is taken from the book, direct from the book. And in places where it wasn’t, where we were kind of, where we were aping the language of the book because the scenes didn’t derive from the original book, it wasn’t a question of learning to – you know, it wasn’t a foreign language. It is a strikingly different use of the English language, but it was more a question of kind of aping the tone, as opposed to anything more of an exercise than that… [We] didn’t go back to the Bible, although clearly in the book, the character is steeped in the Bible. Actually, all the characters, you kind of assume that part of their speech derives from either having learned to read from the Bible or, in that probably a lot of them are illiterate, just having heard a lot of Scripture.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bridges, the dude who plays US Marshall Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn in the Coen brothers’ film, is the subject of a new PBS American Masters documentary:

[UPDATE: The full PBS documentary can be seen here]

And, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, here’s the trailer:

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