Within seconds of a Wes Anderson or Martin Scorsese film, you can figure out who the director is. They’re just a couple of auteurs that have mastered the art of framing, slow motion, and tracking shots, and put their own marker on these elements. Now when it comes to the Coen Brothers, it, perhaps, isn’t as easy to determine they’re at the helm within seconds considering their vast, varied films, but that’s not to say they don’t have an impeccable style all their own.
Establishing their own rhythm of dialogue scenes and shooting singles, the Coens utilize the legendary technique of shot and reverse shot, but in a way that’s all theirs. In the new video from Every Frame a Painting, we are submerged in the world of close-ups and dollying, and the reasons why that, despite using a popular method, the Coens revolutionize those methods.
In all their films, from “The Hudsucker Proxy” to “Raising Arizona,” and beyond, the Coens shoot between characters with a wide lens, as opposed to shooting with a long lens, for an uncomfortable-yet-humorous psychological effect.
Take a look at this essay and let us know if you can think of any other Coen distinguishers in the comments below.