The Sounds of the Coen Brothers

During the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, composer extraordinaire Carter Burwell confirmed that the Coen brothers “…write knowing the importance of the sound and the music. They put space in their films for that, and a lot of people don’t, but they actually feel free to have a few minutes where there might not be any dialogue.” One of the most impressive aspects of the Coen Brothers’ work is their purposeful punctuation of silence — they intersperse such moments with sounds that fuel the imagination. The Coens are experts at doing this for dramatic purposes—in No Country for Old Men, they linger on a candy wrapper which unravels during a life or death coin toss. On the other end of the dramatic spectrum, certain creaking and squishing sounds —as heard in movies like The Hudsucker Proxy — not only improve comedic bits, but create them from scratch. Now, enough reading. Have a listen.

Fandor

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