Tag Archives: Coen brothers

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

Cristian Mungiu won the Palme d’Or for his unflinching drama about a single day in the lives of two young women.

Cast Away

Superficially, Cast Away asks whether modern man can survive alone on a desert island. But Robert Zemeckis’ best film is really about destiny vs. free will.

Last Tango in Paris

There are several good reasons to watch Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial Last Tango in Paris, but not all of them make for palatable viewing.

No Country for Old Men

While Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel broke genre convention, the Coens’ adaptation is a study in audiovisual chaos.

Inside Llewyn Davis

Joel and Ethan Coen never make it easy for the characters, sometimes pitting them against forces of nature. But Llewyn Davis is faced with a uniquely historical storm.

The Ladykillers (1955)

Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom may star, yet it is Katie Johnson who gives one of cinema’s greatest ever comedic performances.

Miller’s Crossing

The plot to Miller’s Crossing is so complex, it’s hard to even figure out where and when it is set. And that’s before we discuss the meaning of Tom Reagan’s hat.

Writers

All films begin at a keyboard. But whether the film is about screenwriters, journalists, novelists or composers, how does cinema depict the art of writing?

Dreams

If the dream sequence is a crutch for many dull thrillers, horrors and mysteries, what makes a good one? One that challenges and stretches cinematic language.

Great Sounds – Part Two

The world is so noisy, we unconsciously filter out all that we don’t want to hear. Much of film sound operates in the same way.

Rashomon

Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon is celebrated for asking what is truth. Which is more than a little ironic, because that’s not what it is really about.

The Conformist

Few films are as layered as The Conformist. But whether you see it as an exercise in style, character study, or philosophical thesis, it’s a flat out masterpiece.

Adaptation.

If writers are told to write from experience, is Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of Susan Orlean’s non-fiction book not really Kaufman’s autobiography?

Fargo

When released in 1996, Fargo was seen as the Coen brothers’ breakthrough film. As the years roll by it has increasingly become a lynch pin in their canon.

Sweet Smell of Success

To make a masterpiece about greed, media manipulation and McCarthyism, you hire a director whose background is in comedy.

Once Upon a Time in the West

Sergio Leone’s masterpiece doesn’t only reference American westerns. He also drew inspiration from an English film.

Coen Country

This short video-essay details the recurring thematic concerns explored by the Coen brothers over the last 30 years. Intercutting all 16 of their films, the characters appear to talk to one another across the stories.

Remakes or Mistakes?

When is a remake not a remake? When is it a re-imagining and not a reboot? And most pertinent of all, when are any of them ever any good?

Casablanca

“Here’s looking at you, kid.” Casablanca has more quotable lines than any other movie, but it’s the visual design that gives the film its thematic resonance.

All About Eve

Four actresses received Oscar nominations for their performances in All About Eve. Great script, great acting… but a great movie?

Barton Fink

The Coen Brothers won the Palme d’Or at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival with this sardonic look at Hollywood. But is that what it is really about?


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