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The Coen Brothers bucket list


Running out of ideas for weekend escapism? Need to add some quirk to your life? Then we suggest turning to the Coen Brothers for inspiration.

No, we're not recommending you open a cold one and put The Big Lebowski on for the umpteenth occasion. We've compiled a bucket list of experiences drawn directly from the stories and characters of the Coens' creations to satisfy die-hard fans.

From location visits to new talents, photo opportunities to bold challenges, these activities are going to fill some empty slots in your diary for a few months to come.



Design the next big thing

The Hudsucker Proxy

Everyone has an invention in them. One idea, just waiting to take seed and grow into a world-changing product. Take Norville Barnes. Idealistic, simplistic, misguided, yet still able to take the toy industry by storm with little more than a circle drawn on a piece of paper.

Did The Hudsucker Proxy leave you with an itching desire to make your own margin-doodle a reality? Then do it. Get yourself a prototype, or better still, take a design course at the Open University. And if you create the next iPhone, we'll take our due thanks in the form of piles of money.


Put someone in a wood chipper (sort of)


Fortunately, we've never needed to get rid of a body. If it weren't for that wood chipper scene in Fargo, we'd have no idea how to go about making the recently deceased disappear - but such is the shuddering simplicity of Gaear Grimsrud's resourceful solution that it's hard to shake it from your mind.

For those of you with a twisted attachment to that sequence (we include ourselves), a trip to the Fargo exhibition at the Fargo-Moorhead visitor centre is an absolute must. Along with a number of props and costumes, fans can also pose for a photo with the infamous wood chipper, providing a great opportunity for the strangest profile picture you'll ever own.


Write a screenplay

Barton Fink

Shouldn't your first duty be to your gift? Then you need to stop making excuses and have a crack at that kitchen sink drama you've been mulling over for the past few years.

Anyone looking to follow in the footsteps of Barton Fink (well, maybe not all his footsteps) should check out the screenwriting course offered by the National Film and Television School.


Take a Dude-inspired shopping trip

The Big Lebowski

You thought we were going to have a bowling-themed entry from The Big Lebowski, didn't you? Much as we'd all love to throw a few strikes (or gutter balls) at the film's Hollywood Star Lanes, the iconic bowling alley used by the Coens was tragically knocked down in 2002.

If you really want to make like The Dude, we suggest you head to Ralph's - the grocery store that set the scene for our first encounter with Jeff Bridges' iconic character. Grab your dressing gown and slippers and head to California's 1745 Garfield Road, Alhambra for the most relaxed, chilled out shopping trip of your life. They might not appreciate you opening their milk though...


Learn to play Man of Constant Sorrow

O Brother, Where Art Thou

We're still working on a formula for cranking out one-hit-wonders, so until we've refined it you're going to have to learn to play someone else's. And they don't come more one-off than Man of Constant Sorrow.

The Saggy Bottom Boy's hit was originally brought to fame by a partially blind fiddler by the name of Dick Burnett around 1913. A classic American folk song, those of you who know your way around a guitar neck can set about learning the music here. Now all you need is two backing singers to harmonise and you're on your way to a sure fire hit.


Exchange insults over a cup of Caffe Reggio coffee

Inside Llewyn Davis

No one wants to be called an asshole. But, if we were forced to pick a drinking spot in which to receive vicious slurs, the Caffe Reggio would be pretty high on the list.

The setting for which Llewyn meets Jean for a rather brutal confrontation, the famed New York coffee house has been used in a number of major films, including The Godfather II, Shaft and The Next Man. Grab the window seat near the door for the exact spot used by the Coens.


Hire a private detective

Blood Simple

The world is full o' complainers - but hopefully your frustrations with life don't stem from suspicions that your partner is having an affair. While Julian Marty sought out the skills of a Private Investigator for matters of an unfortunately sordid nature, a hired PI can help you out with a variety of burdensome tasks. Problem with an insurance claim? Keen to find out more about a possible job role? Want to track down long lost uncle Tim but don't know where to start? Find out more through the ABI - just be sure to avoid the unreliable services of one L. Visser.


Lay low for the night

No Country For Old Men

On the run? Need to disappear for a while? You'd do well to disappear into the vastness that is Texas - specifically the Regal Motel, just north of Las Vegas.

This unassuming motel, found on 1809 North Grand Avenue, was chosen by Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) to lay low for the night. Room 130 is the suite Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) rented to rehearse his break-ins, room 138 is setting for the horrific shoot out.


Discover if you have true grit

True Grit

No, we're not expecting you to embark on a perilous hunt for the man who murdered your father - but a ride through the rugged country that the Coens filmed their 2010 Western should test your grit sufficiently. Filmed in the Buena Vista Ranch of New Mexico, the raw wilderness surrounding the Albuquerque region of this state is home to a scattering of beautiful horse trails and stables. Just be sure to keep an eye out for snakes...


Set up a starter home in suburban Tempe

Raising Arizona

Need a new start? Got yourself a job drilling holes in sheet metal? Looking to put a roof over your family's head? Then you need to get yourself to the Lost Dutchman State Park.

While you might not want to reform and start afresh in a desert-bound trailer, the landscapes surrounding HI's chosen spot for his new life are hard to beat. Filmed in the Lost Dutchman park just east of Scottsdale, the HI's trailer isn't there anymore - but you could always take a tent and some deck recliners? Stunning scenery, miles of walking routes, it's not a bad place to head to rethink things.

(Images: AllStar PL; YouTube)



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