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Joel & Ethan Coen – The Big Lebowski

The Coens The Best Of The Best Writers

The Coens’ symbiotic relationship makes it futile and unnecessary to try to separate them out, either as directors or writers. They undoubtedly know where one of them ends and the other begins; for us it is not so easy. Their ability to channel their influences whilst still maintaining their own distinctive voice is a wonder to behold. Whether it’s Raymond Chandler for The Big Lebowski, James M. Cain for The Man Who Wasn’t There or the screwball comedies of the 30’s and 40’s for The Hudsucker Proxy, it’s always still A¬†Coen Brothers Film. Whatever you might make of the auteur theory, they are undeniably in the club.

Many swear by Miller’s Crossing or No Country For Old Men and a pretty strong case can be made for pretty much any of their films apart from The Ladykillers and Intolerable Cruelty, though even those films have strong moments. But in terms of script prowess, Lebowski takes the cake. And it’s not just dialogue either. The inventiveness that goes into the Dude bracing his front door with a chair and a piece of wood hammered into the floor, only for the door to open outward (and the Dude to then trip over the piece of wood in a later scene) is a treasure and a masterclass in extending a gag. Without it, the film would still be great; with it, it’s unbeatable.

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Dave has been writing for HeyUGuys since mid-2010 and has found them to be the most intelligent, friendly, erudite and insightful bunch of film fans you could hope to work with. He's gone from ham-fisted attempts at writing the news to interviewing Lawrence Bender, Renny Harlin and Julian Glover, to writing articles about things he loves that people have actually read. He has fairly broad tastes as far as films are concerned, though given the choice he's likely to go for Con Air over Battleship Potemkin most days. He's pretty sure that 2001: A Space Odyssey is the most overrated mess in cinematic history.