The Coen Career E-mail
Written by Chalupa   
Thursday, 15 October 2009 07:20

Now that both Joel and Ethan Coen have been in the business for a while, people seem to be looking back at their career and analyzing more than ever. I found a few articles that might be of interest to you on this topic.

Getafilm has been analyzing Joel and Ethan's films by decade. In the same way all of us grow up and change over time, it's also interesting to see how their art has changed over time. In the first ten years of their career, 1984 to 1994, they created Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, and The Hudsucker Proxy. I haven't seen their post on the second decade yet, but they did post a review on A Serious Man.

Here's something from MovieRetriever that ranks the top 10 Coen films. They left out A Serious Man and then dropped three other films to leave "the best 10." As you can guess, I don't exactly agree with their list because they rank Burn After Reading and The Big Lebowski as 10th and 9th, respectively - and that's cool.

Lastly, here are six filmmaking lessons to be learned from the dynamic duo.

  1. Set out to follow your passion, not a filmmaking career.
  2. Writers should be bullheaded on their strategy for financing a film..
  3. Doing film is more about raising money than making money.
  4. Making a film is hard work and aim to finish, not perfection.  However, pre-production definitely helps.
  5. Be prepared to be very poor.
  6. Nobody knows anything in Hollywood.  Win critics over, get into film fests if you ever hope to get your money back.
Interesting thoughts.  I just pulled the lesson titles out of the article.  I know we've basically been told #1 by several artists we've interviewed in the past.  If you're in it for the money, then you're doing it for all the wrong reasons and will probably miss opportunities to do great things.


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