Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Coen Brothers - The Indie movie makers

We talk about music on this blog for the most part, but we are going to branch out into other disciplines - namely movies and books.

Keeping with our indie aesthetic why don't we explore the Coen Brothers, as their newest DVD comes out. "A Serious Man" is the latest release from the quirky brothers who started making movies back in the '80's with the low budget film noire "Blood Simple."

"A Serious Man,” like “No Country for Old Men” and “Burn After Reading,” is fundamentally a shaggy dog movie. It's funnier than either of those movies, but it also has more gravity to it. This is something of a homecoming for the brothers, who grew up in the heavily Jewish Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park in the 1960s. They are hardly sentimental about the old neighborhood - but their smart-alecky nihilism feels authentic rather than contrived — you understand, maybe for the first time, where they are coming from.

“A Serious Man” continues their decade-by-decade, movie-guided tour of American history. The ’60s is pot, the Jefferson Airplane and slightly shifting attitudes towards sex. Apart from a Korean student and an unfriendly neighbour, Larry the "serious man" lives surrounded by his own kind: lawyers, dentists, doctors, colleagues, and a too-friendly neighbour.

And the local details are, in the end, incidental. “A Serious Man” is, like its biblical source, a distilled, exaggerated account of the human condition. The punch line is a little different, but you know the joke - and it’s on you.

Just like Fargo, with the in jokes about the good folks in Minnesota, or the crazy world of The Big Lebowski, The Coen Brothers are keen to put you on edge, in a world that seems normal enough, until you scratch the scab and find something rancid underneath. And in a way isn’t that how real life is anyway?

Pick up your copy by going to:

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