1996, Park Circus/MGM, 98 min, USA, UK, Dir: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

One of Joel and Ethan Coen’s most acclaimed films (they won Oscars for their screenplay and Frances McDormand got one for Best Actress). Cool, calm, collected (and pregnant!) policewoman Marge (McDormand) tracks the kidnappers of a used car salesman’s wife in North Dakota’s snow-covered wasteland. Salesman Jerry’s (William H. Macy) inept plot to get out of debt by staging the hoax unravels in gory fashion when his two bizarrely mismatched henchmen (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) have a falling out. That hulking Stormare’s nonchalant, bloodcurdling use of a woodchipper at the climax emerges as both chilling and hilarious testifies to the Coen’s complete mastery of tone in the filmmaking process. “…an illuminating amalgam of emotion and thought. It glimpses into the heart of man and unearths a blackly comic nature, hellishly mercurial and selfish, yet strangely innocent. If it weren't so funny, it would be unbearably disturbing.” – Arnold Wayne Jones, The Dallas Observer; “A crime gem that is darkly funny even when it's chilling -- and certain to become a classic.” – Peter Stack, The San Francisco Chronicle.

2013, CBS Films, 105 min, USA, Dir: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Just before the early-1960s folk boom turned them into magnets for aspiring singers, the clubs and coffeehouses of Greenwich Village were peopled by the likes of Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), a struggling troubadour whose traditional repertoire puts him on the margins of the music business along with a handful of other earnest and occasionally eccentric characters. The Coen brothers’ INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS brings the birth of folk into focus as effectively as their O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? did bluegrass. That earlier film’s musical midwife, T Bone Burnett, handles similar duties here as an Executive Music Producer, and stars Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake all do their own singing on screen. The film was the Grand Prix award winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

2000, Buena Vista Pictures, 106 min, USA, Dir: Joel Cohen

Taking much of its inspiration from Homer’s The Odyssey, this Coen brothers comedy stars George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson as escaped convicts in Depression-era Mississippi. On a wild goose chase for loot from a previous crime, the trio encounter bluesmen, bank robbers, Bible thumpers and politicos, and become unlikely hitmakers as the “Soggy Bottom Boys” (in real life, the film’s bluegrass-filled soundtrack topped charts and won three Grammys). Costarring John Goodman. The title is taken from the social-realist film-within-a-film Joel McCrea's character wants to make in Preston Sturges' SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS!

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