Directors

11 Great Facts About Coen Brothers

1. They have directed more than 15 films together, that are often characterized as being “genre-busting”, having covered comedy, crime, the Western, horror, thriller, gangster, drama, romance, adventure, and features of neo-noir.

2. The brothers write, direct, and produce their films jointly, although until The Ladykillers , Joel received sole credit for directing and Ethan for producing.

3. They often alternate top billing for their screenplays while sharing film credits for editor under the alias Roderick Jaynes.

4. They have been nominated for thirteen Academy Awards together, plus one individual nomination for each, winning Best Original Screenplay for Fargo and Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men.

5. They have written a number of films neither of the brothers directed.

6. Joel and Ethan Coen were born and raised in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis.

7. When they were children, Joel saved money from mowing lawns to buy a Vivitar Super 8 camera.

8. Together, the brothers remade movies they saw on television, with a neighborhood kid, Mark Zimering , as the star. Their first attempt was a romp entitled Henry Kissinger, Man on the Go.

9. Joel Coen has said: “in regards to whether our background influences our film making… who knows?

10. Joel and Ethan graduated from St. Louis Park High School in 1973 and 1976, respectively. Joel then spent four years in the undergraduate film program at New York University, where he made a 30-minute thesis film called Soundings.

11. Ethan went on to Princeton University and earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy in 1979.

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