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Coen Brothers

Geek Juice Radio – Episode 156
This month’s director retrospective looks at the work of Joel & Ethan Coen
Featuring: Alex Jowski, Charley McMullen, Mike White and Rob St Mary

About The Author
Matthew Coats
Matthew Coats
Formerly known under the pseudonym of Alex Jowski. Site owner, movie aficionado, and film school grad. Matthew Coats presents reviews, some written, some as vlogs, and some as weekly shows, for a variety of different movies and television shows. After years of struggling to get his own projects off the ground amidst the normal routine of living, Matthew Coats decided to create a site in order to share and promote movie reviews, video games and much much more from talented and original people all across the internet.
  • Fideliolioli
    December 11, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    The initial Dybbuk sequence is vital to understanding “A Serious Man” – the Dybbuk is a creature made by someone to act out their purposes – usually of revenge; the idea is that the main character’s despair is that he’s been living his life for other people; living for them – much as a Dybbuk exists not for itself or its own purposes – but for another’s. It’s not a throwaway sequence; it’s the symbol of the main character’s inner turmoil and what he most fears but is afraid to change; an automaton – and the Dybbuk is a direct link between his heritage and what modern life expects him to be. They even reference it later on. Just thought it should be mentioned as you guys seemed to wonder why that sequence was there. ;-)

    • December 12, 2014 at 3:32 am

      According to an interview the Coens gave in 2009 (August 15, 2009 – A Serious Man Production Notes Film in Focus (Focus Features). p. 9.) – The dybbuk in the opening serves no purpose other than to set up a general theme of Judaism. Their words: “We thought a little self-contained story would be an appropriate introduction for this movie. Since we didn’t know any suitable Yiddish folk tales, we made one up.”

  • Fideliolioli
    December 11, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Guys – the Beat generation was the late 40’s and 50’s; the folk movement in New York – and the film – took place in the ’60’s. And you don’t need to be into folk music to appreciate a story about an artist who can’t commit to his art because of his own flaws – and ends up being too late to realize it when someone else comes along to be what he wanted to be; it’s a tragedy. I love your podcasts – but for film geeks – you sure seem to miss a lot of the basic themes of the films you watch. Just look a bit deeper. ;-)

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