The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers (The Philosophy of Popular Culture)

The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers (The Philosophy of Popular Culture)

Mark T. Conard


In 2008 No kingdom for outdated Men gained the Academy Award for top photo, including to the popularity of filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, who have been already identified for pushing the bounds of style. they'd already made movies that redefined the gangster motion picture, the screwball comedy, the fantasy, and the movie noir, between others. No Country is only one of many Coen brothers movies to heart at the struggles of complicated characters to appreciate themselves and their areas within the unusual worlds they inhabit. To borrow a word from Barton Fink, all Coen motion pictures discover "the lifetime of the mind" and express that the human can frequently be concurrently comedian and tragic, profound and absurd.

In The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers, editor Mark T. Conard and different famous students discover the tough ethical and philosophical terrain of the Coen repertoire. numerous authors attach the Coens' most generally recognized plots and characters to the shadowy, violent, and morally ambiguous international of vintage movie noir and its sleek counterpart, neo-noir. As those essays display, Coen motion pictures frequently proportion noir's crucial philosophical assumptions: energy corrupts, evil is genuine, and human keep an eye on of destiny is an phantasm. In Fargo, now not even Minnesota's blankets of snow can disguise Jerry Lundegaard's crimes or brighten his lengthy, darkish evening of the soul. Coen motion pictures that stylistically leave from movie noir nonetheless undergo the effect of the genre's winning philosophical platforms. the story of affection, marriage, betrayal, and divorce in Intolerable Cruelty transcends the plight of the characters to light up competing theories of justice. Even in lighter fare, similar to Raising Arizona and The great Lebowski, the comedy emerges from characters' trips to the threshold of an amoral abyss. in spite of the fact that, the Coens frequently knowingly and gleefully subvert conventions and infrequently supply symbolic rebirths and different hopeful results. on the finish of The colossal Lebowski, the Dude abides, his laziness has develop into a advantage, and the human comedy is perpetuating itself with the promised arrival of a infant Lebowski.

The Philosophy of the Coen Brothers sheds new gentle on those cinematic visionaries and their films' stirring philosophical insights. From Blood Simple to No nation for previous Men, the Coens' motion pictures characteristic characters who starvation for that means in shared human event -- they're trying to find solutions. A opt for few in their protagonists locate confirmation and redemption, yet for lots of others, the hunt for solutions leads, at most sensible, basically to extra questions.

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