Among the most influential and important filmmakers of their generation, The Coen Brothers continue to pump out modern masterpieces (“Fargo,” “No Country For Old Men,” “Barton Fink,” “A Serious Man”), solid genre-subverting efforts (“True Grit,” “Miller’s Crossing,” “The Big Lebowski,” perhaps the greatest noir-comedy of all time), as well as the occasional dud (“The Ladykillers,” “Intolerable Cruelty”).
As filmmakers, Joel and Ethan Coen find a sweet spot between technical and thematic predictability and subversive originality. There are many visual approaches, character archetypes and themes that link their films, yet they still manage to construct works that are original and unpredictable, especially when those works are expected to fit inside the mold of a certain genre.
Vimeo user Grant Pichla’s twenty-minute dissection covers the brothers’ use of similar themes, characters, dialogue and visual styles, their tendency to create existentially confused protagonists who are out of step with the socially accepted madness that surrounds them, and their love for 1940s noir and slapstick comedy. You can watch the analysis below.