Friday, July 9, 2010

Coen Brothers Bring Their Talents to Alternative History

The Coen Brothers rock because they set movies in unique parts of the U.S. and try to portray local accent and culture. There are lots of interesting and unique parts of the U.S. that you'll see if you travel around it on the ground but that you won't see in movies. I often think that movies are so often set in LA not for cost reasons but due to failure of imagination of the filmmakers and script writers. Especially considering that California has pretty much every climate zone except jungle, for scenery alone it's a damn shame that these places aren't used more often, and that's even right in California. (Notwithstanding Captain Kirk fighting Gorns. But that's right outside LA.)

Now the Coen Brothers are trying their hand at alternate history: the territory of Sitka, a semi-autonomous Jewish state in Alaska in a world where Israel was destroyed in the first Arab-Israeli War. Michael Chabon's readers will of course recognize this as the film version of The Yiddish Policeman's Union. By the way, who says alternate history is an obscure genre that no serious writer would attempt? Because I understand this Chabon guy won some kind of a prize for his writing at some point.

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