The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together
Telegramme (with Timba Smits)
From such cult hits as Raising Arizona (1987) and The Big Lebowski (1998) to major critical darlings Fargo (1996), No Country for Old Men (2007), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), Ethan and Joel Coen have cultivated a bleakly comical, instantly recognizable voice in modern American cinema. In The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, film critic Adam Nayman carefully sifts through their complex cinematic universe in an effort to plot, as he puts it, "some Grand Unified Theory of Coen-ness. " The book combines critical text - biography, close film analysis, and enlightening interviews with key Coen collaborators - with a visual aesthetic that honors the Coens' singular mix of darkness and levity. Featuring film stills, beautiful and evocative illustrations, punchy infographics, and hard insight, this book will be the definitive exploration of the Coen brothers' oeuvre. ". . . this book tries to plot "some Grand Unified Theory of Coen-ness" in a "definitive" exploration of the Coen brothers' oeuvre.", TheBookseller "Far from an entry-level guide to the Coens' career, this comprehensive dissection of their filmography aims to uncover a 'Grand Unified Theory Of Coen-ness'. Exploring the complexities of the duo's oeuvre with forensic attention to detail, critic Adam Nayman flags up repeating motifs and parallels, only occasionally overreaching into tenuousness.", Total Film "The large-format tome, lavishly decorated with stills (including on-set panoramas by Jeff Bridges), illustrations and infographics, may suggest coffee-table fare, but there is genuine substance here. Punctuating his chronologically ordered analyses of individual movies with interviews with key collaborators (though not the Coens themselves) and five chapters charting the commercial and critical vicissitudes of the brothers' career, Nayman swiftly shows he's done his homework: he's read the books that influenced the movies, researched and considered the countless references, and checked, for example, the number of cats used in shooting Inside Llewyn Davis (2012).", Sight & Sound magazine "Nayman's essays are both entertaining and academic, analysing themes and motifs from each film, identifying recurring links between them, and tying them into cinema history - and once you start reading, it's easy to get hooked. Even the most obsessive Coen fans will come out of this appreciating their favourite films in new ways as they see details they never knew were there.", Starburst "One of the pleasures of the big, handsome, mid-to-late career monographs that Abrams Books has made a specialty (they also released books on Wes Anderson, Oliver Stone, and Martin Scorsese) is that they allow us to appreciate the "minor" entries of those oeuvres. Take, for example, Adam Nayman's The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together (out tomorrow), which, yes, gives full analysis and appreciation to Fargo, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski, and No Country For Old Men. But Nayman also has plenty to say about supposedly secondary works like The Hudsucker Proxy, Burn After Reading, and, in this excerpt, the all-but-forgotten 2001 black-and-white film noir riff, The Man Who Wasn't There.", Flavorwire "Drawing heavily on his knowledge of film production methods and cinematic history and with a keen eye for the concepts that emerge and re-emerge in the Coen Brothers' work, Nayman has put together an urgent and compelling tribute to the two mild-mannered brothers from Minnesota showed us the life of the mind. The Coen Brothers; This Books Really Ties The Films Together is a must for any film buff and required reading for all the stoned bowlers and murderous insurance salesman out there.", Film Ireland ". . . film critic Adam Nayman weaves biography, critical analysis, and interviews with Coen collaborators (including longtime cinematographer Roger Deakins) to present the definitive history of the Coen brothers oeuvre.", Indiewire "This is highly recommended for any film fan, and essential for any Coen brothers fan - let Adam Nayman show you the life of the Coen brothers' minds.", StarburstMagazine.com "The Coen Brothers can count themselves among the small list of the most extraordinary American filmmakers to ever work in the genre. And reading through The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together is a testament to their talents.", /Film "If you'd like to read more about the making of The Big Lebowski, may we recommend The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together, which has just been released by Abrams", AnOther Man "It's one of those large Abrams doorstops. . . filled with glossy, well-chosen pictures as well as thoughtful, eloquent analysis that more than justifies their literal heavy-osity.", Filmmaker Magazine online "There's no doubt this is one of 2018's must-own books for film lovers.", The Film Stage ". . .a marvelous mixture of well-designed coffee table book and thoughtful analysis of a filmmaking team. . ." , Flavorwire Christmas gift guide ". . .fans of Joel and Ethan Coen will appreciate this oversized guide to their offbeat oeuvre. . .", Newsday "..this detailed compendium is a cinephile's delight." , BookPage "It would make a great gift for any Coen fan-boy or fan-girl in your life.", Pop Culture Happy Hour ". . .a king-sized guide to the filmmakers' off-beat oeuvre. . . ", The Playlist
Adam Nayman is a film critic in Toronto for TheGlobe and Mail and The Grid and a contributing editor to Cinema Scope. He has written on film for the Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, Film Comment, Cineaste, Montage, POV, Reverse Shot, The Walrus, Saturday Night, Little White Lies, and The Dissolve. He teaches film studies at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University and is a programmer for the Toronto Jewish Film Society. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.