by Jake Coyle.
“If you’re trying to assign the trait of maturity to us, frankly, it won’t wash.”
A conversation with the filmmaking brothers Ethan and Joel Coen has only just gotten started when Ethan, quite gleefully, puts a stop to any discussion of growth, evolution or development.
Now in their late 50s, the Coens have a host of awards, including best picture for their tense, bone-dry Cormac McCarthy adaptation No Country for Old Men. Their last film, the much Oscar-nominated Charles Portis adaptation True Grit, was an unexpected box-office hit, earning $250 million worldwide. Somewhat shockingly, they are — to use the much sought-after label in their O Brother, Where Art Thou? — bona fide.
Their latest, the folk music tale Inside Llewyn Davis, continues the trend of awards-season releases with more realism than, say, the screwball of The Hudsucker Proxy or the surrealism of The Big Lebowski.
The Coens don’t dismiss the trend. They just predict its imminent expiration date.
“If you’re trying to make a developmental statement about us,” Ethan explains, “it might not …”
“It might not stand the test of the next movie,” says Joel, finishing the sentence. They chuckle with tickled delight, like boys who are getting away with something, at the thought of their next opus. (More on that later.)
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