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100 Greatest Filmmakers of All Time: #100 Coen Brothers

100 Greatest Filmmakers 


The Coen Brothers

Coen Brothers by Getty
PImage LONDON: Film directors The Coen Brothers pose for a portrait shoot in London, UK. (Photo by Steve Pyke/Exclusive by Getty Images)

One has to wonder how the Coen brothers brand of cinema would play in different eras, like say the 60s or the 50s. As it now stands, they are a unique voice in a wilderness of CG sameness. It leads you to wonder if the brothers would still be as lauded if they were surrounded by similar styles. As it is, the brothers offbeat storytelling and eccentric character studies stand as a stark and unique contrast to the James Camerons of the world.

If we were to look for a place to fit the Coens, one need not look any further than Preston Sturges. It was Sturges who pioneered esoteric style of comedy that the brothers used in their big hit Fargo.  Sturges also was one of the early comedy directors  who was a total filmmaker. He wrote, produced and directed his films. Like the Coens, the comedy in Sturges’ films were not born out of great wit. It was the situation and the characters around that situation that brought forth the humor.

Coen Bros Working Title Films
The Big Lebowski by the Coen Bros

Whereas Preston Sturges sit up shop and remained in the comedy genre, Joel and Ethan Coen have branched off into other genres and received acclaim for their efforts, most notably No Country for Old Men.  Along with No Country, the Coen brothers have specialized in the sort of Steve McQueen-esque action crime drama pictures. Blood Simple, Crime Wave and Miller Crossing to name a few.

Blood is Thicker than Water

The brothers have built a very good resume and their box office record is near exemplary. Joel and Ethan Coen are consummate film makers. Being brothers, it is even more amazing that after 30 years in the business, they still work together.