The man who uttered "thanks" and little else after three visits to the podium at the Oscars this year actually has a lot on his mind, even though he chooses to rarely speak it. Ethan Coen, the younger, bearded half of the sibling powerhouse behind many of the best American movies of the last ten years, usually remains in the shadows--but that hasn't slowed his immense creative output, which extends beyond the movies. In 1998, he published his first collection of absurdist poetry, and followed it up with a second volume a few years later. Simultaneously funny and haunting, Coen's work reads a lot like his films. But can his eccentric style translate to other formats? Turns out it can: His off-Broadway play, Almost an Evening, has been receiving rave reviews, convincing the bashful auteur to do a rare interview. "I've got lots to say - depends on the day," he tells AP reporter Douglas J. Rowe, before cryptically adding, "Not usually, actually."
Intriguingly, Coen comes across as amiable and witty in the piece ("I need the Nobel Peace Prize. The Oscars have worn off, man"), which discusses the details of the three one-acts contained in Almost an Evening. It makes you wonder what would happen if the brothers went their separate ways. Would we get twice the Coen goodies? Or something completely different? Even Ethan doesn't know: "It's not a question of flying solo so much as ... I don't know what it is."