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19.6.04

Standing by the Coens

I hope that Joel and Ethan Coen have not happened to read this article (The wrong direction, June 11) by David Thomson in The Independent. All I can think to say to Mr. Thomson in reply is "Shut the fuck up, Donny" and perhaps also "You are entering a world of pain."

With their latest film, The Ladykillers (a strange remake of the classic English comedy that starred Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom), they have now notched up three films in a row that ill become them: not just films that haven't done very well, but in which the energy of, or desire for, film-making seems to be slipping away. It's as if the job now strikes them as a habit, and I think their fans are bridling at that.
It's true that I have not seen, or heard much good about, The Ladykillers (2004), Intolerable Cruelty (2003 [Milkplus liked it]), or The Man Who Wasn't There (2001). However, I feel quite certain that films far worse than the three listed in this article, which les frères Coen might some day produce, would still be more watchable than the tripe being served in a theater near you at this very moment. We just need to see better casting, more of people like this exquisite man or this one, rather than star actors like him (the Cinetrix has his number and also hits the nail on the head by writing that "The Ladykillers feels like a summer stock version of a Coen Brothers movie") and him. In any case, as far as this viewer is concerned, the Coens have endless credit, no matter how many mediocre films they make. In fact, that credit limit has just been extended, since the brothers are reported to be in production on Paris, je t'aime, a collaborative project in France, about filmmaking in Paris. You must know by now that we at Ionarts firmly believe that francophilia is an irrefutable sign of intelligence and good breeding.

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