5 by 5: My 5 Favorite Films by My 5 Favorite Directors (3/5)

Sorry for the long time between posts. Thank you for waiting…

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Continuing with our 5 by 5 Filmmakers series (to recap #1 The Master: Stanley Kubrick and #2 The Artist: Martin Scorcese) with #3

The Brothers:

Joel & Ethan Coen

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There are a number of successful film-making brothers in movies. Some of them very talented like Ridley & Tony Scott. (More from one of them later) Some are hit or miss like the Wachovski siblings. And some I just can’t get into like The Farrelly Boys. But the best (the best Jerry) are the Coen brothers, Ethan & Joel (or Joel & Ethan depending on which side of the equator you live on).

With Joel & Ethan Coen you get this incredible combination of Billy Wilder & Alfred Hitchcock or Woody Allen & Francis Ford Coppola.

At number 3 on my list we give you 2 for the price of 1 with Joel & Ethan Coen.

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Barton Fink (1991)

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My favorite Coen Brothers film is Barton Fink. It was by accident that I saw it in the theater. I hadn’t heard of them nor had I heard of it. I was out walking in the village. Trying to work through a little writer’s block. Walked by this theater and said to myself that I will buy a ticket to see the next movie starting. And as with most things in my life it was really good timing because it was a movie about writer’s block.

The story of how they wrote the film is interesting. They were blocked while writing Miller’s Crossing and churned out Barton Fink in the interim as a way to work through it. And it is an amazing film. So funny. So interesting. So entertaining. As always they get great performances from their cast and every line is infinitely quotable.

Miller’s Crossing (1990)

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Miller’s Crossing is, in my opinion, one of the best mob films ever made (sorry Marty). It is a gripping, suspenseful, thriller. When I first saw this movie. I thought of it as a collection of perfect scenes. All these amazing and perfect scenes stitch together to form a story. Every scene is phenomenal from the first shot to the last, from the first word or action to the last and fit together into a masterpiece of film-making brilliance.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

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I can’t go two days without hearing someone quote The Big Lebowski. A true classic. Very funny.

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Fargo (1996)

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Frances McDormand. Frances McDormand. Frances McDormand.

Just a great movie.

O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000)

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I had to include this film on my list for the soundtrack alone but it is one of the most entertaining re-imaginings of Homer that I have ever seen. Make no mistake O Brother, Where Art Thou is a music driven film. It has some of the best Bluegrass music out there. Check out this scene with The Soggy Bottom Boys doing some “mighty fine a-pickin’ & a-singin’ “

There are so many more cult classics, award winners and great movies from these guys; No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona, True Grit etc. They rarely mis-fire but even when they do you will find some interesting performances, some incredible writing and picture perfect scenes in every film. Whether comedy or suspense (or some strange amalgam of both) Ethan & Joel give you more than your money’s worth every time.

And if you don’t agree with me, you’ll just have to speak to Anton.

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- Envy