63 Great Directors: Joel and Ethan Coen

“I hate when people cry in movies. It’s particularly disconcerting when you’re sitting at a really awful movie and you hear people all around you sobbing and blowing their noses.”

What Got These Directors Here?
: Body of work. Mostly Fargo.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: No Country For Old Men.

What Did I Watch: Blood Simple (a rewatch, but I’ve seen all their stuff).

Where Do They Fit: Blood Simple might be the most undistilled Coens vintage, a cartoony neo-noir that takes their typical formal cues into different directions: they usually never go this neon or rainy. The low budget shows, but it’s fascinating, and leads to a primary foursome in the vein of something Brechtian. The script is a delicious series of misunderstandings punctuated by that marvelous opening with the windshield wipers. You can only see the director’s cut nowadays, but that might be a good thing, as Samm-Art Williams is giving a truly bad performance from what we can see of it nowadays. You get the bait and the catch, I suppose.


Most Valuable Asset: Black as pitch humor.
Most Excited For: Whatever’s next, hopefully it’s better than Hail Caesar.
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: The ultimate hack, Michael Curtiz.


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