The boys are back in town!

The Walker Art Center’s Coen Brothers Retrospective features the filmmaking duo back in their native state.

PHOTO COURTESY TOUCHSTONE PICTURES

PHOTO COURTESY TOUCHSTONE PICTURES

by Tony Libera

WHAT: Joel and Ethan Coen: Raising Cain âÄì Film Retrospective and Regis Dialogue WHEN: Sept. 18 âÄì Oct. 17 WHERE: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave. TICKETS: Screenings are $8 ($6 for Walker members). CinephileâÄôs Special: five films for the price of three for $24 ($18). Dialogue is $45. Dialogue and reception combination costs $100. Beginning tomorrow, Minnesota cinephiles will have the chance to see the collected works of Joel and Ethan Coen back on the silver screen. The Walker Art CenterâÄôs âÄúRegis Dialogue and RetrospectiveâÄù provides the forum, letting patrons view their filmography and sit in on a discussion with the fraternal auteurs, just in time for their latest film, âÄúA Serious Man,âÄù which is slated for an Oct. 2 release. The month-long series opens with the local legendsâÄô debut feature, âÄúBlood SimpleâÄù (1984), the story of a cuckold who hires a hit man to kill his cheating wife and her lover. ItâÄôs one of the CoensâÄô darker films and the one that established their immense talent. An opening night reception follows the screening and promises to be filled with food, drinks and conversation. For many, this will be the first chance to see certain Coen brothersâÄô features on the big screen. Most University of Minnesota students werenâÄôt even born when the brothersâÄô second picture (âÄúRaising ArizonaâÄù) came out in 1987 and some werenâÄôt even of the legal age to see Oscar-winner âÄúNo Country for Old MenâÄù on its release date 20 years later. Viewing any film on the big screen offers a more authentic viewing experience, but a Coen film benefits tremendously on a visual scale. The brothers have always been masters of American landscapes, from the isolating deserts of âÄúRaising ArizonaâÄù and âÄúNo Country for Old Men,âÄù to the bleak winter tundra of âÄúFargo,âÄù (1996) and a large screen further showcases their attention to detail. But the most alluring piece of this particular retrospective âÄî for film nerds at least âÄî is the chance to compare and contrast these varied movies on a stylistic level. The Coen brothers are known for their willingness to try their hands at different genres, to employ bold filming techniques and to explore the most bizarre of character motives. For example, juxtaposing the Odyssean reimagining âÄúO Brother, Where Art Thou?âÄù (2000) with the dark âÄúIntolerable Cruelty,âÄù (2003) emphasizes both the CoenâÄôs creativity and hyper-competence when it comes to mise-en-scène. While their efforts donâÄôt always end in cinematic gold, their results are always admired. Even when one of their films doesnâÄôt reach the heights of âÄúNo Country for Old Men,âÄù it still surpasses most movies that hit theaters each year. To top off the screenings, the Walker will host a dialogue with the Coen brothers about their work. The duo will discuss growing up in the North Star State and comment on their movies, hopefully touching on âÄúA Serious Man,âÄù which was filmed here in Minnesota. It should be a rare chance to explore these filmmakersâÄô psyches. âÄúBlood SimpleâÄù STARRING: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya. RATED: R âÄúA Serious ManâÄù STARRING: Michael Stuhlbarg, Simon Helberg, Richard Kind. RATED: R âÄúRaising ArizonaâÄù STARRING: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman. RATED: PG-13 âÄúNo Country for Old MenâÄù STARRING: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones. RATED: R âÄúFargoâÄù Starring: William H. Macy, Steve Buscemi, Frances McDormand. Rated: R âÄúO Brother, Where Art Thou?âÄù STARRING: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson. RATED: PG-13 âÄúIntolerable CrueltyâÄù STARRING: George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Adelstein. RATED: PG-13