This Coen Brothers’ Supercut Shows Their Mastery Of POV

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From Raising Arizona to Burn After Reading and everywhere else, take a look at the Coens’ ability to put cameras where you least expect it…

I’m Henry Gilbert, a person so nerdy they host their own the comic book podcast called Cape Crisis (via the support on the Laser Time Patreon), and I used to be quite the film nerd as well. I worked at an independent video rental store for six years, where I was that sometimes helpful/sometimes condescending guy behind the counter who acted like a know-it-all and argued about Kung Fu films with coworkers. And while I’ve let that passion for movies drop off thanks to commitments to games and comics fandom, I still have a love for my old favorites, and the Coen Brothers are easily in my top 10 filmmakers ever.

Comedy, drama, noir, mystery, westerns – those two odd siblings can do it all in such a way that feels both signature to them and unique in each film. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the people who made the stoner comedy of The Big Lebowski could also make a nihilistic modern western like No Country For Old Men. But their style and techniques unite them more than you think, as Vimeo user Jacob T. Swinney demonstrates in this new video they just posted. This is a collection of the many up close, point of view shots that make their movies feel so lively and intense, because you’re right there with the action.

Seeing all of those at once makes it seem like the Coens overuse the technique, but the moments happen in such a controlled, deliberate way that they make an impact without being the only thing a viewer remembers. Of those clips in there, I think the Raising Arizona moments still get me the most, probably because they’re used in such an extreme way to make the cartoony action feel even more heightened. Also, knowing that Joel and Ethan Coen are good friends with Sam Raimi, I wonder how much they were inspired by Sam’s demonic viewpoint shots that defined the Evil Dead films? Given how few interviews the Coens give, it won’t be easy to find out.

As for the creator of this video, Jacob T. Swinney, this is only the most recent of their tributes to the subtle qualities of outstanding filmmakers. If you liked the newest one above, may I suggest this montage of Paul Thomas Anderson close-ups…

Or the behind-the-back tracking shots of Darren Aronofsky…

And how Quentin Tarantino can make driving look like the most fun (or terrifying) thing on film…

Explore the rest of his Vimeo page to see Swinney’s best stuff, and if this made you want to revisit any of those films, check out the Amazon links below (which also supports the site).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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