Ben Barenholtz, Producer Who Launched Coen Brothers’ Career, Dies at 83

  • The Wrap
Ben Barenholtz, Producer Who Launched Coen Brothers’ Career, Dies at 83
Ben Barenholtz, the producer-distributor who helped launch the careers of David Lynch and the Coen Brothers, died on Wednesday in Prague at the age of 83.

Barenholtz is credited with pioneering the concept of the “midnight movie” by screening subversive, future cult classics like John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos” and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s “El Topo,” the latter of which Barenholtz decided to screen at the (now defunct) Elgin Theater in New York City after attending the private screening of it at the Museum of Modern Art. That screening is seen as essential by film historians to helping the film find a wider audience and gain a legacy as one of Jodorowsky’s most famous works.

During World War II, Barenholtz escaped the Nazi concentration camps at the age of eight by living in the woods of Poland with 11 other escapees, losing his father during the war. Barenholtz kept his past a secret
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