Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Are the Coen brothers' films misanthropic?

David Denby makes this claim, first, I think, in a New Yorker blurb published after No Country for Old Men was released (I read it in his book Do the Movies Have a Future?, which I would recommend, but not as much as David Thomson's Biographical Dictionary of Film, which I highly, highly esteem).  He says, this is the first film in which the Coens tell the straight story, so to speak, whereas all of the previous films were comedies, the punchline of which was, look at these stupid pathetic humans.

I'm shocked, actually. This seems right, in some respects. But I do not think it is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the Cohen Brothers' films are misanthropic, but that's a major reason why I like them. I usually do not bother reading the New York Times film reviews, or David Denby.
I ran across your blog in a comment you posted on a Miller's Crossing commentary elsewhere on the net. I agreed with your comment. That reviewer's ideas about Miller's Crossing were silly. Why re-write a great film, adding to the "love triangle", which is unnecessary, especially when the film is near-perfect, as Miller's Crossing is, in my opinion.
I looked for your blog post on it, but all I could find here was a comment on Barton Fink. I'd like to read your take on it in full. It's one of my favorite films also.