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The Coen Brothers' new film may take on the Greenwich Village folk scene

Following up on the Coen Brothers’ hints that their next film would have “quite a bit of music in it,” the L.A. Times is reporting that the duo is working on a script set in the 1960s Greenwich Village folk scene, which had quite a bit of music in it, indeed. Specifically they’re said to be drawing from The Mayor Of MacDougal Street, the posthumously published memoir of Greenwich resident guitarist and guru Dave Van Ronk, who befriended and guided artists like Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Phil Ochs to greater fame and fortune than he would ever experience.

As the Coens said during their interview with Noah Baumbach earlier this month, they’re planning a naturalistic film akin to that director’s Margot At The Wedding, one driven by music that’s “all performed live, single instrument,” which would seem to line up with the ’60s coffeehouse scene’s emphasis on acoustic guitar. (Or a Casio keyboard, because those can do anything, even make cool laser sounds.) Anyway, while talk of “the next Coen Brothers film” is always iffy, as the Times says, the project has an added timeliness that could make this one a priority: Van Ronk, a loud voice for progressive causes, was arrested during the Stonewall Riots, which has taken on a new timely relevance thanks to New York’s legalization of same-sex marriage. So potential thanks for the new Coen Brothers film, New York State legislature, in addition to the other thing.

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