O Brother Where Art Thou

This a very strange Cohen brothers film. The best thing about it is George Clooney. He’s smart, cocky and likeable as a criminal escaped from the chain gang. The story is ‘inspired’ loosely on Homer’s Odyssey even if the main protagonist is switched from a hero to anti-hero.   It’s difficult with the depictions of American southerners  to work out if they are supposed to be accurate or caricatures. More mildly amusing than  comedy or drama.

O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a 2000 adventure film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring George Clooney, John Turturro, and Tim Blake Nelson, with John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Charles Durning in supporting roles. Set in 1937 rural Mississippi during the Great Depression, the film’s story is a modern satire loosely based on Homer’s epic poem, Odyssey. The title of the film is a reference to the 1941 film Sullivan’s Travels, in which the protagonist (a director) wants to film a fictional book about the Great Depression called O Brother, Where Art Thou?

One of the notable features of the film is its use of digital color correction to give the film a sepia-tinted look. Joel stated that this was because the actual set was “greener than Ireland.” Cinematographer Roger Deakins stated, “Ethan and Joel favored a dry, dusty Delta look with golden sunsets. They wanted it to look like an old hand-tinted picture, with the intensity of colors dictated by the scene and natural skin tones that were all shades of the rainbow.” Initially the crew tried to perform the color correction using a physical process, however after several tries with various chemical processes proved unsatisfactory, it became necessary to perform the process digitally.