Joel and Ethan Coen have built a long and illustrious career by reinventing how stories are told. They certainly have a postmodern sensibility and have never shied away from breaking established cinematic codes. The writers/directors have worked in nearly every genre from film noir and screwball comedy, to the Western and black comedy, and when it comes to the weirdest scenes in Coen Brothers movies, there's plenty to choose from.
Their signature style is to both work within the confines of a genre, and break the genre’s rules. Think about the typical John Wayne hero in a standard Western: male, macho, middle-aged. Now think about a Coen Brothers Western hero, like the one from True Grit: a 13-year-old female. This creative flexibility allows the Coens the ability to explore a lot of strange places.
Some of the weirdest Coen Brothers movies involve blurring the line between reality and fantasy. Some of these lines are easy to spot, like the surrealist dream sequences in The Big Lebowski. Other times, viewers are left wondering what's real and what's imaginary, like in Barton Fink.The brothers' unique style of filmmaking makes it okay to ask, “WTF?” Most of their movies are meant to be odd. Weird Coen Brothers moments make their canon unlike that of any other filmmakers.Make your voice heard, vote up the truly weirdest of the weird Coen Brothers scenes below.
A Nod to Busby Berkeley
Film: The Big LebowskiThis dream sequence from The Big Lebowski is a stoner's delight. The Busby Berkeley inspired surrealist piece even has Saddam Hussein as a bowling alley attendant.
The Huggies Heist
Film: Raising ArizonaH.I. McDunnough (Nicolas Cage) has kidnapped a baby and now, of course, needs diapers. With pantyhose over his face, the man races through a supermarket, then through a neighborhood with a package of Huggies nestled under his arm. The pursuit is odd and hilarious all at once, a signature blend the Coen Brothers perfect in this sequence.
An Innovative New Use for a Wood Chipper
Film: FargoPerhaps the most iconic scene from any Coen Brothers movie, it takes a minute for Officer Gunderson (Frances McDormand) and the audience to figure out what Gaear (Peter Stormare) is doing with that wood chipper. But once we see that white-socked foot sticking out of the top, and blood spewing out of the front, it all makes perfect sense... at least for the odd cinematic world of the Coen Brothers.