JTA: Joel and Ethan Coen to Film "Yiddish Policeman's Union"

We've read a while back that the Coen boys have already shot scenes of this adaptation.

I used to meet their dad, economics Professor Ed Coen, at meetings on campus at the University of Minnesota. He served for a time on the Jewish Studies committee and above all was a real mensch.

I'd also meet Ed on occasion in shul at the Keneset Israel Congregation in St. Louis Park. He'd tell me proudly in the early 80's that his boys planned to go into film. But the boys were not big shul-goers.

About them, NPR reports, "Their latest, No Country for Old Men, is up for eight Academy Awards — and they're the first siblings to share a nomination for best director."

Quite an accomplishment for two little Jewish boys from Minnesota.
Coen brothers to adapt Chabon novel

Filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen will adapt "The Yiddish Policemen's Union" for the screen.

Columbia Pictures has acquired the screen rights for the best-selling novel by acclaimed Jewish novelist Michael Chabon, according to a report in the Hollywood journal Variety.

The novel envisions a world in which Israel was destroyed in 1948 and re-established as a Yiddish-speaking sovereignty in remote Alaska.

The Coen brothers, who have commanded a cult following for offbeat films such as "Fargo" and "Raising Arizona," are known for integrating bits of Jewish trivia into their films.

One of their more celebrated films, "The Big Lebowski," features a Shabbat-observant Polish Catholic Vietnam veteran with a penchant for quoting Theodor Herzl and Maimonides. Their current film, "No Country for Old Men," was nominated for eight Oscars.

The Coens, who will write and direct the adaption, will reunite with "No Country for Old Men" producer Scott Rudin for the film.

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