Coen brothers admit they are not film making geniuses

Posted on 20 January 2014
By James McAllister
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The Coen brothers have revealed that they are not the film making geniuses that their fans make them out to be.

Ethan Coen admits: “It’s funny even talking about working and stuff on the set, because most of the time we’re like reading the newspaper.”

“If you were on set you’d think ‘who is that person? Maybe he’s a friend of the DP?’But we can’t let that out or they’ll stop paying us.”

Working more on instinct more than on any conscious level, Ethan said:

“We don’t operate very intellectually. You just figure, does this feel right or not? It’s always a kind of feeling, a taste thing.”

For years academics have been dissecting the brothers work to find hidden literary references and subversive genres, but the duo insist that these aren’t the questions they look to answer when making their films.

“The questions are usually very specific about what this should look like, should the character be wearing this, saying this instead of that?”

“And the only way to answer them is a non-intellectual intuitive sort of feeling in your head.”

Ethan goes onto admit: “It’s funny even talking about working and stuff on the set, because most of the time we’re like reading the newspaper.”

“if you were on set you’d think ‘who is that person? Maybe he’s a friend of the DP?’ But we can’t let that out or they’ll stop paying us.”

The Coen brothers new movie Inside Llewyn Davis is released in cinemas this Friday.