Ballad of Buster Scruggs

As all Cohen brother movies, this is an original gem. Quite poetic. This is one of the movies which grow on you. There is so much material. The 6 tales were written by the brothers themselves. There is also quite a bit of math. The movie is quite violent, as also the initial ``counting off" of the fingers illustrates. The mirror tale mirrors an old riddle in physics: how does the mirror turn left and right but not up and down. Time for reflection! The chicken scene is brutal too. The chicken will replace the poor guy without arms and legs who recites Lincoln. Well, math is stronger than poetry! As the mathematician Hardy told once "Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not." I have never seen this tied to this movie but if knows the Cohen brothers, it is almost certain that they might have had this Hardy quote in mind. In other movies, cultural references come in . The "serious man" is essentially a tale about the uncertainty principle in quantum mechanics, the "O Brother" movie is based on the Odyssee; the Lebowski story is a serious detective riddle.

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Oliver Knill, Posted March 5, 2021,