The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will be released in UK cinemas this week before it hits Netflix.
The Coen brothers’ new movie, which started out as a Netflix original series, is a feature-length anthology of six short films, each tale recounting a distinct story about the American West, from the sad and the funny to the chilling and the musical.
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs isn’t just one masterpiece, but a collection of several masterpieces,” we hailed in our review from the Venice Film Festival, where the film had its world premiere. With a cast that includes Tim Blake Nelson, James Franco, Liam Neeson, Harry Melling and Tom Waits, it’s become one of Netflix’s main contenders in this year’s awards race: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by Joel and Ethan Coen won the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, while Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, its other main awards contender, won Best Film.
The films mark a step up in prestige and profile for Netflix’s original movies arm – indeed, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is one of its first to be accompanied by a new Netflix films ident, which replaces its existing red and white logo used on Netflix original TV shows. As part of that move to position its films as a more prestigious brand, and qualify its movies for awards consideration, Netflix is now taking steps to commit more to a theatrical release for its projects – to date, Netflix has not curried favour with cinemas or the industry due to its insistence on a day-and-date release for its titles, unlike Amazon Studios’ preservation of a theatrical window before an online release. That stance has led to many exhibitors, particularly in the USA, refusing to carry Netflix’s films, which means that the streaming giant has established what is effectively an exclusive relationship with Curzon Cinemas in the UK, a company that operates both as exhibitor and distributor – it has its own online platform, Curzon Home Cinema, it uses for day-and-date releases.
Now, that relationship is developing further, as Curzon Cinemas, with The Ballad of Buster Scruggs getting an early cinema release in Curzon venues. The film will be available in cinemas from Friday 9th November, before its release online on Friday 16th November. It will be showing at Bloomsbury, Canterbury, Knutsford, Sheffield, Soho, Wimbledon, Aldgate and Colchester cinemas. As Netflix appears to increasingly embrace theatrical releases – The Other Side of the Wind was released day-and-date and was also given a free screening at Deptford Cinema – the question is how long until Netflix starts working with other exhibitors in the UK.
Here’s the new trailer for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: Netflix unveils trailer and November release date for Coen bros Western
Starting out as a series, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs evolved into a feature film compendium instead: a series of six tales within one movie about the American frontier. Each chapter tells a distinct story about the American West, from the sad and the funny to the chilling and the musical.
The film is exec-produced by Joel and Ethan Coen, alongside Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle from Annapurna Television and longtime Coen Brothers collaborator Robert Graf. It will be released by Netflix in UK cinemas and online on Friday 16th November.
Here’s the video:
The Coens come to Netflix with Western anthology The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
10th August 2017
The Coen Brothers are coming to Netflix.
That sentence alone is all you really need to know, as the directing duo’s hit rate over their diverse, distinctive career is second to none. Oscar winners for No Country for Old Men back in 2007, they saddled back up for more Western action in True Grit, and now, they’re riding into the Wild West again for a new Netflix project: The Battle of Buster Scruggs.
The anthology will feature six tales about the American frontier. Each chapter will feature a separate story about the American West. The project will star Tim Blake Nelson as Buster, and many others.
Joel and Ethan Coen will write and direct the anthology, as well as serve as executive producers, with Megan Ellison and Sue Naegle from Annapurna Television also on EP duties, along with longtime Coen Brothers collaborator Robert Graf.
“The Coens are visionary directors, masterful storytellers, and colorful linguists. We are thrilled for Netflix to become home to the full range of their talents,” says Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix.
“We are streaming motherfuckers!,” add Joel Coen and Ethan Coen.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is an Annapurna Television production and will premiere in 2018.
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