Coen brothers to get top French cultural award

AFP/The Local
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Coen brothers to get top French cultural award
The Coen Brothers Ethan (L) and Joel (R) with their 2008 Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars for "No Country For Old Men." Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP

American film-making brothers Joel and Ethan Coen will receive France's highest cultural honour at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday. The Oscar-winning directors will join the likes of Bono and Bob Dylan when they're inducted into the Order of Arts and Letters.


US filmmakers Joel and Ethan Cohen will on Wednesday be presented with France's highest cultural honour at a ceremony in Paris.

The brothers, much garlanded for their large body of work including the Oscar-winning "No Country for Old Men" and "Barton Fink" which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, will each be made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

The brothers – Joel, 58, and Ethan 56 – are regarded as two of the most the most innovative directors in the world.

Since exploding onto the scene in 1984 with their noir thriller "Blood Simple," they have reeled off a dozen films each notable for their distinctive quirky humour or macabre themes.

The Coens' most recent film "Inside Llewyn Davis" took the Grand Prix (runner-up prize) at this year's Cannes film festival.

Starring Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake, the film tells the story of a struggling singer-songwriter against the backdrop of the 1960s New York folk scene.

The Cinémathèque Française in Paris is hosting a retrospective of the Coen brothers' movies until October 27th. 

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Other recent recipients from the world of film and music include movie star Bruce Willis and U2 frontman Bono, who got the honour in July.

For his part, Beatles legend Ringo Starr was made a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters at a ceremony in Monaco last month. 

US folk music icon Bob Dylan - a Commander since 1990 - was at the centre of a recent controversy in France, when his nomination for the country's highest civilian award, the Legion of Honour, was held up by a French general who said his pot-smoking, anti-war past made him "unworthy" of the honour.

In the end, however, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the panel which chooses recipients every year, green-lighted Dylan's induction, calling him a "a great poet."

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