The other day, I saw the new Coen brothers film, Burn After Reading. People haven't been particularly kind to it, but I enjoyed it.
Only today did I realize that the film (as usual with Coen brothers movies) contained an homage to one of my favorite films, and that I had missed it completely.
At the end of the film, two CIA officers discuss events, deciding to do little about them (aside from paying for a bit of cosmetic surgery for Frances McDormand's character). They are talking about people dying for unexplained reasons, going off to Venezuela, and other odd occurrences.
Today, I realized they were bowing to Alfred Hitchcock and North by Northwest, where there's also a discussion in a CIA office:
Official #1: And the unsuspecting Townsend winds up
with a stray knife in his back.
Official #2: C'est la guerre.
Official #3: It's so horribly sad. Why is it I feel like laughing?
Official #4: What are we going to do?
Official #3: Do?
Official #4: About Mr. Thornhill?
The Professor: We...do nothing!
Official #4: Nothing?
The Professor: That's right. Nothing.
What goes on in Burn After Reading is very much what one finds in North by Northwest and a host of other Hitchcock films. I appreciate that the Coen brothers, through such homage, acknowledge the traditions they extend.