8 votes

Every character actor behind a desk in a Coen Brothers film

4 comments

  1. [2]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    From the about page:

    From the about page:

    This is a project by Scott Mahr, a software developer and designer from Victoria, BC, Canada.

    Like many, I'm a big fan of the films of the Coen Brothers. I love the ease with which they bounce between weighty cinematic masterpieces, arty slow-burners, and frivolous comedies. They play within and against genre so effortlessly, and there is obvious glee behind every line of dialogue and every plot twist.

    It's also clear they have a deep love and respect for the character actor. Alongside their long-time casting director Ellen Chenoweth, the Coens pepper every film with unforgettable performances by actors we've (mostly) never heard of. And often, I've come to notice, these character actors show up behind desks.

    They usually appear as clerks or administrators, indifferent faces of a higher bureaucratic power, thwarting the goals of an increasingly frustrated or desperate protagonist. Other times, they're puzzled bystanders, pulled in to a web of cause and effect they barely comprehend. And sometimes they're pure comic relief. But they are always so pitch-perfect, so distinct and authentic, it's hard to conceive of these actors in any other role.

    Like Tarantino's trunk shots or Wes Anderson's symmetry (or Michael Bay's low-angle 360s), I would argue that the character actor behind a desk is a Coen Brothers signature. This is my attempt to document them all.

    4 votes
    1. envy
      Link Parent
      Thank you. I was scrolling through these fascinating scenes, wondering "but.... why?"

      Thank you. I was scrolling through these fascinating scenes, wondering "but.... why?"

  2. ehmry
    Link
    Interesting to see the evolution of color toning throught the films.

    Interesting to see the evolution of color toning throught the films.

    3 votes
  3. balooga
    Link
    Love the Coen Brothers! Some of these "desks" stretch the definition a bit (a bowling alley bar, a store checkout, a recording booth console, a dinner table) but I'm not complaining... so many...

    Love the Coen Brothers! Some of these "desks" stretch the definition a bit (a bowling alley bar, a store checkout, a recording booth console, a dinner table) but I'm not complaining... so many memorable faces and scenes here.

    1 vote