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Watch: Joel and Ethan Coen’s Filmography Explored in Comprehensive 3-Hour Video Series

Written by on December 29, 2016 

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In their seventeen feature-length films over the last three-plus decades, there are perhaps no more consistent, distinctive American filmmakers working today than Joel and Ethan Coen. After finishing up similarly comprehensive series on David Fincher, Stanley Kubrick, and Paul Thomas Anderson, Cameron Beyl has returned with another multi-part documentary, this time dedicated to the work of the Coen brothers.

“They no doubt would be quick to dismiss this very video series as a frivolous waste of time — an ill-advised attempt to define a filmography that actively defies interpretation,” begins Beyl. Indeed, much of the fascination with the Coens has to do with the seemingly effortless way they are able to layer their films; virtually all of them able to work as a piece of entertainment on first viewing, only to reveal themselves as much deeper on many deserved repeating watches.

Briefly kicking off with their pre-Blood Simple days, Beyl then explores their directorial debut (which we also recently covered in-depth, thanks to Criterion’s new release), before jumping into their follow-up Raising Arizona (described as their “Murder & Mania” days). Not only are all their feature films covered — leading up to this year’s Hail, Caesar! — Beyl leaves no stone unturned, also looking at their commercial work and pair of shorts they did for Paris, je t’aime and To Each His Own Cinema.

Clocking in at over three hours, dive into the fascinating, comprehensively look at the Coens’ career below.

4.1: MURDER & MANIA is the first installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their pair of independent debut features set in the American southwest.
-BLOOD SIMPLE. (1984)
-RAISING ARIZONA (1987)

4.2: THE POSTMODERN PICTURES is the second installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their trio of “retro-surreal” period pictures producing in the 1990’s.
-MILLER’S CROSSING (1990)
-BARTON FINK (1991)
-THE HUDSUCKER PROXY (1994)

4.3: THE BREAKOUT CLASSICS is the third installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their pair of mainstream breakthrough works in the late 90’s:
-FARGO (1996)
-THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)

4.4: AN ODYSSEY INTO STYLE is the fourth installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their pair of highly-stylized features from the dawn of the new millennium:
-O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? (2000)
-THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE (2001)

4.5: SCREWBALL SCOUNDRELS is the fifth installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their brief foray into the slapstick caper genre with mass commercial appeal:
-GAP “TWO WHITE SHIRTS” COMMERCIAL (2002)
-INTOLERABLE CRUELTY (2003)
-THE LADYKILLERS (2004)
-PARIS JE T’AIME: “TUILERIES” (2006)

4.6: A PRESTIGIOUS PINNACLE is the sixth installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their four-year run of highly-acclaimed, award-winning features:
-NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
-TO EACH HIS OWN CINEMA: “WORLD CINEMA” (2007)
-BURN AFTER READING (2008)
-A SERIOUS MAN (2009)
-TRUE GRIT (2010)

4.7: THE ART OF COMMERCE is the seventh installment of THE DIRECTORS SERIES’ examination into the films and careers of directors Joel and Ethan Coen, covering their pair of films that explore the absurdities of art and commerce:
-INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (2013)
-HAIL, CAESAR! (2016)


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