When you do away with the darkness it seems all that you are left with is the weird. And Coen brothers proved this in spades with their new motion picture Hail Caesar! For the first time in a long time I have been genuinely surprised and confused at my own response to a film, for as the lights went up I think, I think I had experienced something amazing but I just can’t tell. The Coens are known for their dark oddball movie language, now I’m not going to write an essay about the works of the Coens and how they’ve changed film language and their brilliant use of the random element that can change the story in a heartbeat, why, because there are many a great academic writings that if interested you should read, or more simply just indulge in the brilliance of their films and learn from their but in the honesty I just don’t want to write about that.
Ah that feels better this article was starting to feel all to serious, and I hadn’t had a chance to well be a little condescending, which you may regard as rude but hey who cares, well you do obviously, but I don’t and that’s all that matters and maybe now I’m going to far…
But what I want to write about is more of my connection with the works of Joel and Ethan, and one film in particular; Millers Crossing. Probably one of the lesser and more underrated of their works, as much as I love the film again that’s not what I want to right about, I really should just say what I want to write about rather then explaining each element I’m not going to, if anything I’m just waffling and that word count just keeps creeping and I was hoping to keep this one relatively short and sweet but lets just see how that goes. Millers Crossing is one of those films my Dad put on a pedestal and one he was undoubtedly excited to show me after he’d realised I enjoyed film on a greater level. I mean he never need worry about Batman that was in my veins from birth. But my Dad took his time with Crossing, almost waiting for me to mature, not in terms of age based on content as at a young age T2 had become regular Saturday morning viewing, but in terms of understanding and maturity of film language. He wanted me to get it.
There has been no one more important in my education of film then my father, it’s also probably one of the most well crafted academic courses I’ve been on, one many should take note of. From an early age it was clear he wanted to introduce me to the world of the Coens, starting with O’Brother Where Art Thou? I can’t remember when I watched it maybe when I was around 13 but only I can remember of that first viewing is very much enjoying the tunes and the action but the underlining fact was I didn’t quite get it. And so he waited a few years and tried again this time with Fargo, after that viewing he knew he had me. I got it the dark humour, oddball character characters and their unique cinema language, which boiled down into simpleton terms; stuff happens live with it and we’re not going to explain everything to you, it happens, end of, why doesn’t matter it happened deal with it, we don’t have all the answers no one does!
But the time had come, my dad had never played up Millers Crossing, if anything I barely knew of it’s existence, my dad never put it forward, but after Fargo every know and then he would mention it, never saying ah it’s amazing it’s great it’s complex and cool, to be fair my dad has never really done that, he would just mention it every now and then; “how about Millers Crossing?” “Yeah why not!”
I don’t know how long he waited for such a moment, and I can’t thank him enough for it, I love Millers Crossing, I love it, I followed every moment of it every deal, every back stabbing, every double cross and triple cross, I followed it all and I loved it. Because my dad left it up to me, let me decide if I liked it and made sure I could make that decision with complete clarity but at the same time he knew, he always knew I was going to love it.
Like Father Like Son .