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Barton Fink

Uploaded by Paladine on Mar 30, 2002

“Barton Fink is a movie with complex symbolism, plot twists, hidden meanings, and a helluvalot of funny jokes.” (Cowen) Cowen could not have said it better. Barton Fink is abound with deeper meaning, and strong connections to an underlying theme. When you watch the movie you see Barton Fink, a play write stuck into a Hollywood setting, struggling to write a movie about a topic he knows nothing about. When you think about the movie, you see what is really going on, and that things in this movie are not at all what they seem.

When thinking about the movie, one questions most things in the movie. The first thing in question is the hotel Earle itself. The building and its employee’s are all in fact parts of the theme in which Fink has gotten himself into. “… it's a gradual descent into hell for Jewish playwright Barton Fink …” (Desson Howe) Carl, the Earle’s seemingly only “moving” employee, first ascends from “…the underworld.” (Cowen) The number six is repeated 3 times while Fink rides the elevator. Finally the heading on the notepad in the room read “A Day Or A Lifetime.” These three things show the watcher that Barton Fink is not “in Kansas anymore.”

Now Barton “encounters the personification of his common man in the bulky form of his gregarious next door neighbor, a sweaty insurance salesman named Charlie Meadows” (Jim Emerson) This is where Barton’s problems really start. Upon meeting Charlie, Barton refuses to listen to him when he tries to tell him “stories.” This is a mistake that he will regret. “Charlie Meadows is the hotel's resident fallen angel.” (Cowen) He has not been cast into hell, but resides there to help people from getting into hell.

All Barton had to do throughout the movie was listen, not know, but listen. That was a major problem in his life, and the lives of most people. Most people don’t listen; don’t want to hear it; because they “know” it already. This movie was to tell people that they should open their ear and there minds to the world around them. Even with Charlie literally wrestling Barton to the ground, he still does not listen. Even with the world smacking people in the face, most people don’t listen to what the world is telling them.

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Uploaded by:   Paladine

Date:   03/30/2002

Category:   Film

Length:   2 pages (386 words)

Views:   1489

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