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Monday, January 10, 2011

True Grit

The Coen brothers continue with their relentless message that civilization is inimical, or at least not conducive, to human morality. In the frontier, Rooster Cogburn protects the weak and dispenses justice according to the reward of the wicked and the innocent. In secular civilization, he is a carnival attraction. In frontier morality, for example, a man who does not recognize the special status of women by getting to his feet is trash meriting the same contempt as men who rob children of their fathers. I'm reminded of the scene in Gone With The Wind when Mammy chides the carpetbaggers for their overt approaches to Scarlett. The Coens place special emphasis on Cogburn's and LeBoeuf's status as Confederate veterans as well.

So, two Jewish men remain devoted and rigorous filmographers of Anglo-American history and culture, and from a perspective strikingly different from most of their Hollywood peers.

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