I just recently started getting into the Coen Brothers. I’d seen “Raising Arizona” years ago. “The Big Lebowski” is one of the funniest movies I own. And I thought “The Hudsucker Proxy” was pretty good (although I never got to watch the entire thing). Ditto for “The Man Who Wasn’t There”. So when I saw “O Brother, Where Art Thou” at the store the other day on DVD, I decided to buy it. I figured at $15, it was a good deal.
This is fast becoming one of my favorite movies to date. The entire Homer’s Oddysee connection is hilarious. And I particularly loved the “Tommy Johnson” character…
For those of you who don’t know, “Tommy Johnson” is modeled after Robert Johnson, a Delta blues musician who was HUGE in the mid 1930’s. But his success wasn’t always as readily available to himself.
Johnson played the juke joints down south for many years with no success. Some claim that he was downright horrible at the blues. Then he disappeared for a few years, came back, and was a golden God on the guitar. This fueled the legend of the Devil and the crossroads. The legend states that Johnson sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for fame and fortune through his rather uncapable ability to play his guitar. The Devil granted Johnson an unearthly talent at playing the blues and claimed Johnson’s soul in 1938.
When I saw the black man standing at a dusty set of crossroads, I knew it was gonna be Robert Johnson, or at least based on his legend. I like how the Coens throw little things like that into the mix of their movies. Like the Hula-Hoop thing in “The Hudsucker Proxy”.
That’s it. “O Brother…” was a pleasant surprise. Next time I buy a DVD, it’ll probably be a Coen Brothers movie. Later.