Filmmaker Profile: The Coen brothers

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    One would be hard-pressed to name a more idiosyncratic duo of filmmakers currently working in Hollywood than the Coen brothers. Over their thirty-year filmmaking careers, Joel and Ethan Coen have produced a body of work that displays remarkable continui ties, yet is riddled with contradictions. Few other creative minds could have conceived of such critically acclaimed works as Fargo (1996) and No Country for Old Men (2007) alongside such unclassifiable cultural melanges as The Big Lebowski (1998) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), but the Coen brothers are in no way typical filmmakers. Joel (born 1954) and Ethan (born 1957) spent their youth in suburban Minneapolis - a long way from the sunny climes of Hollywood, yet also the birthplace of such fellow cultural luminaries as Bob Dylan, Prince and Paul Westerberg. Joel cut his filmmaking teeth as assistant editor on The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi, 1981). The Coens' first film in their own right, Blood Simple (1984), would usher in one of their most enduring fascinations: film noir. Their subsequent film, Raising Arizona (1987), saw this hardboiled sensibility replaced with their other generic fixation: screwball comedy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)52-67
    Number of pages16
    JournalScreen Education
    Issue number77
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


    • Motion pictures - producers and direction
    • Coen Brothers
    • Coen, Joel
    • Coen, Ethan


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