Episode 3: fargo

How the 1996 Coen Brothers' movie introduced folks to the quirky Midwest and its inventive murders.

 

The 1996 movie Fargo stirred widespread curiosity about snowy winters, funny accents and bloody mayhem on the frozen tundra of North Dakota and Minnesota. The film won two Oscar awards and inspired a popular television series of the same name. But how well did it actually capture and reflect the region?

In this episode, The Drunk Projectionist proudly presents a documentary about the movie.

You betcha!

Public radio pros Diane Richard and Todd Melby unravel the mystery behind the parkas, prowlers and wood chippers in interviews with actors William H. Macy (Jerry Lundegaard), John Carroll Lynch (Norm Gunderson), Tony Denman (Scotty Lundegaard), dialect coach Liz Himelstein, women in law enforcement, and many more. Narrated by Bruce Bohne (Deputy Lou).

In the podcast, we also ask actors to analyze specific scenes, including Stephen Park, the Los Angeles actor who played Mike Yanagita. Park was so into his character, he didn't see the humor of the scene until Joel Coen told him audiences were digging it at screenings.

In this scene, Bain Boehlke — he's the guy with the broom in his hand — describes his encounter with Steve Buscemi's character to a local cop. In our interview for the pod, Boehlke insists a Minnesotan would never substitute a broom for a snow shovel in the winter. But when the Coens were filming, few flakes were falling.

Essential listening for diehard fans of Fargo.

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Frances McDormand won an Oscar for her portrayal of Police Chief Marge Gunderson, the heroine of Fargo. Surprisingly, Ethan Coen saw her as "the bad guy." Images courtesy of Gramercy Pictures.

Frances McDormand won an Oscar for her portrayal of Police Chief Marge Gunderson, the heroine of Fargo. Surprisingly, Ethan Coen saw her as "the bad guy." Images courtesy of Gramercy Pictures.