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Spike Lee at Cannes, Coen Brothers

Spike Lee vs. the Coen Bros: Valid Point or Unfair Characterization?

The folks covering Cannes over at Cinematical highlighted some statements made by director Spike Lee about certain directors. I was specifically struck by the comment he made about Joel and Ethan Coen (who just won a batch of Oscars for No Country for Old Men):

I always treat life and death with respect, but most people don't. . . Look, I love the Coen brothers; we all studied at NYU. But they treat life like a joke. Ha ha ha. A joke. It's like, "Look how they killed that guy! Look how blood squirts out the side of his head!" I see things different than that.

While it may not be the fairest charge leveled against the Coen Brothers, I do think a discussion about the role of violence in filmmaking (and other forms of entertainment) is one that needs to take place and Lee has a point when he implies that no one is willing to ask the hard questions.

Do you agree with what Spike Lee is saying or do you think it's an unfair bin to toss the Coens into?


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