by Ryland Walker Knight
[You've been putting it up your whole life.]
Seeing as the Coen Brothers and their new movie haven't gotten enough blogosphere attention, we here decided we would talk about the Coen Brothers and what their new movie has done to and in their body of work. A lot of it is due to my complicated reaction to the film, which I find ostensibly "perfect," if philosophically grim on the surface. Thinking about the film over the past month has deepened my appreciation for its positive aspects (speech-as-spectacle, mise-en-scène, the cast) if only complicated my uneasiness with its negative aspects (all that blood seen from such a detached perspective, the fatalism, its reputation). In that it is a film about America, as much as any of their pictures are, I thought it might be prudent to look at how No Country for Old Men plays next to the Coens' other works. Plus, you know, my whole Cavell obsession.
Luckily, my fellows at VINYL have decided to join me, offering their perspective on some of their favorites of the Coens' oeuvre. We should have them all good and ready by next Friday, the 21st (when Sweeney Todd and Youth Without Youth open). Expect a lost brother, a deadened barber, a foul-mouthed (non) ladykiller, a forested crossing, some bowling, and dialogue. As expected, all signs point to a coin toss. Be there. Call it.