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Joel e Ethan Coen vs Paul Thomas Anderson?

Who is the best director?

by Anonymousreply 10Last Monday at 7:54 PM

I can't generalize because the Cohens are SO erratic.

by Anonymousreply 1Last Sunday at 12:05 AM

Except for Javier Bardem's excellent performances I really didn't care for Country For Old Men. At least There Will Be Blood had superb cinematography and great acting from DDL and Paul Dano.

by Anonymousreply 2Last Sunday at 12:07 AM

Definitely the Coens.

They have a greater work ethic, too, as evidenced by their prolific output.

by Anonymousreply 3Last Sunday at 12:09 AM

Lots of films means nothing if they are all boring R3.

by Anonymousreply 4Last Sunday at 12:18 AM


by Anonymousreply 5Last Sunday at 12:48 AM

The Coens are more Woody Allen-ish in work-rate and impact. Too much forgettable, the best stuff is very good but not great.

PTA is more Kubrick-ish in work-rate and impact. Greatness hovers. Much more memorable original work which provokes interest and re-screenings.

No hesitation in choosing PTA for that retrospective season.

by Anonymousreply 6Last Sunday at 12:52 AM

This is one of the toughest matchups for me in a while. It comes down to There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. I like some of their other films but these are their Masterpieces to me and two of my all time favorite films. I gotta give it the Coens.

by Anonymousreply 7Last Sunday at 1:27 AM

This was a tricky one, but I went with PT Anderson.

COENS The Coens (and here's where it gets weird - how to talk in singular and plural simultaneously) - the Coens were among (hah - did it!) the major aesthetic trendsetters during that experimental fin de siecle that was the 90s. I still think this was their best period, and for me Miller's Crossing is their best film - Miller's Crossing and Fargo, but many of their films include brilliant stretches. Overall they seemed to dovetail with the Absurdist humor of Jarmusch and Hartley, together with the self-reflexive verbosity of Tarantino, and a Looney Tunes streak that's all their own - but the Coens seemed to have the surest grasp of genre as a package.

In today's more conservative aesthetic climate, they've ventured further into straight genre filmmaking, surprisingly effective, but still spiced with their cartoon Absurdity. And they may be primarily responsible for the recent trend in depicting the 19th century as a time of glorious, over the top verbosity (a la Deadwood) At the same time, they have a tendency toward a deadening self-indulgence that they sometimes mistake for profundity

ANDERSON I find Anderson consistently the more consistently ambitious artist - the Coens have adapted to the changing commercial climate, whereas Anderson seems to maintain a kind of self-sufficient bubble - Anderson more aggressively upholds the Modernist ethos of vintage Scorsese, Kubrick, - and especially Robert Altman. I find many of Anderson's most praised works to be overrated - for me he has many strong ideas, but he often doesn't fully think through where to take them, and many of these films build promisingly then hit a dead end and flounder.

To my mind, Anderson's strongest films are Hard Eight, Punch Drunk Love, Inherent Vice, and Phantom Thread - Phantom Thread is almost worthy of Bunuel, but I think Inherent Vice might be his masterpiece - it's an intricate love letter to The Long Goodbye, Altman's brilliant sunshine noir ode to Hawks and his Big Sleep; Vice is also the wistful goodbye to the 60s that Tarantino's latest wanted to be - Anderson should adapt more Pynchon.

by Anonymousreply 8Last Sunday at 2:07 AM

Inherent Vice was an absolute mess of a movie. Total crap!

by Anonymousreply 9Last Monday at 7:07 PM

I'd say the Coen brothers are actually more consistent, but I love many of the slight comedies (like "The Hudsucker Proxy," "Burn After Reading" and "Hail Caesar!"), which other people dislike.

PTA can hit it out of the park, but he's made some dogs: I found "Magnolia" juvenile, "There Will Be Blood" wildly overrated, and "Inherent Vice" almost instantly forgettable.

by Anonymousreply 10Last Monday at 7:54 PM
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