Whilst trying desperately to understand the plight of the common man and being crippled by his own thoughts clouding what he should write about, Barton Fink ignores Charlie Meadows when he says, “And I could tell you some stories…”
This interaction summarizes why Barton Fink is one of my favorite movies. It identifies a writer who has his head so high in the clouds, that he cannot understand anything about the people around him. This is reiterated in a multitude of ways throughout the entire movie, and Turturro’s delightfully absurd depiction of Barton is nowhere closer to understanding anything about anyone.
Sadly, I know this pain. I find myself being deeply over-analytical regarding any work of art I encounter in my life. I can never watch something and take it at face value. As my eye and my taste becomes further intellectualized, (much to my dismay) I find myself becoming a victim of trying to understand the deeper meaning in the artwork, when there might not be one in the first place. Most recently, after watching the highly hyped Russian Doll on Netflix, I found myself caught in this trap yet again.
As soon as it was revealed that Natasha Lyonne’s character Nadia was a video game developer, I went off the deep end of theorizing: Maybe Nadia has a flaw in her code that need