The Dryden Theater at the George Eastman House Museum of Photography and Film are in the middle of their film series in tribute to one of the, I mean, two of the pioneers of American independent cinema, Joel and Ethan Coen. The series chronicles at great length the prolific and highly celebrated career of the dynamic duo and their spectrum of films filled with the driest of humor and absurd characters. What better way to celebrate than to highlight the best of their films?
But first, what makes the Coen Brothers special visual storytellers? Through meticulous writing and an attention to detail towards a certain time and place, the Coen’s work well with presenting stories where malfunction is inevitable because no one in the story can ever grab a hold of their situation. The key word here is ‘miscommunication.’ Much of the Coen’s brilliance comes from their mastery of incommunicative narratives, where their characters can never understand what in the world is going on but proceed to believe they do.
As clarification, though, this list isn’t anywhere near scientific. I have actually not seen two of their films (The Man Who Wasn’t There and Intolerable Cruelty). Nevertheless, the list will be fruitful and it will highlight what makes each and every Coen film a great cinematic experience. Also worth noting is that Inside Llewyn Davis will not be on the list. For it to be considered the film needs to have been out for at least four years…you can’t really measure a classic through immediacy. Anyways, here is the list, enjoy!
The schedule of the Dryden theater and their screenings of the Coen's work can be found here.