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J. Hoberman Reviews the Coen Brothers' 'Inside Llewyn Davis'.

There's an art of contemptAlfred Jarry opening Ubu Roi with a bellowed expletive, Marcel Duchamp exhibiting a urinal as art, Johnny Rotten snarling "God save the Queen," or the young Bob Dylan hurling accusations at "Mr. Jones" over a wailing wall of sound. And then there's the artful contempt perfected by filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen.

An undeniably talented two-man band of brothers, the Coens take pleasure less in confronting their audience or authority in general, than in bullying the characters they invent for their own amusement. Theirs is a comic theater of cruelty populated by a battered cast of action figures and a worldview that might have been formulated not from a Buick 6, a la Dylan but the Olympian heights of a bunk bed in suburbia.

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Author:Hoberman, J.
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Date:Nov 21, 2013
Words:140
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