Time magazine is running an article that summarizes the ten best moments from various Coen Bros.films over the last 22 years. It’s a decent appreciation, but as I happened to notice the piece on Sasha Stone‘s Awards Daily earlier today, I couldn’t help but notice Greg Gingold‘s Coen Brothers gag reel video that Stone included as visual filler.
Gingold’s reel is a typically shallow thing — rapid-fire clips aimed at snagging the attention of infants and cultural primitives. The Coens have always had a distinctive visual sense, of course, but to me the words “a Coen Brothers film” has always meant extremely well-crafted dialogue and sardonic hipster humor that’s vaguely misanthropic. They’ve often gone for madcap cleverness, but they’re extremely careful photographer-editors who are just as much about balance and formal framings — a kind of John Ford-Sergei Eisenstein composition sense.