Short Films by the Coen Brothers
Not one but two Coen Brothers films to watch in just a handful of minutes, now if that isn’t sheer joy! Though only a few minutes long, each bears all their distinctive hallmarks and both will reward the small amount of time you dedicate to watching them.
In their 2006 short, Tuileries from the 2006 anthology, Paris Je T’Aime, which compiled short films by directors from across the world to highlight various parts of the city, the Coen Brothers apparently “took some of the requirements given for the shorts, such as featuring Parisian landmarks and describing the city as being for lovers, and twisted them around, not thinking it would actually be approved.” (Paste Magazine). In the short Steve Buscemi plays a luckless average tourist who unwittingly breaks the “no eye contact” rule of the Paris Metro, leading to all kinds of weirdness as he waits for his train at Tuileries station. A nicely bizarre five minutes’ worth!
Their second film, World Cinema, was made just a year later for Chacun son cinema (To Each His Own Cinema). This was an omnibus film to to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, consisting of 34 shorts directed by different directors, for which the brief was to express their current feelings towards Cinema. World Cinema features Josh Brolin having to choose between two (first rate) foreign movies he’s never heard of. It is straightforward, funny, a little quirky and true to the brief. Yet while celebrating world cinema, it makes a number of points: the nice thumbs up for Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and his film Climates – which is chosen over Jean Renoir’s 1939 classic La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) – and is a little dig at cinema club snobs and/or French audiences. And the way it simultaneously delivers a positive message about “Cinema” while highlighting the sad lack of information/awareness of world cinema in the US. All in just three minutes!