Jefferson Airplane Sets the Stage for the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man
Posted 09.17.09 by reelz
The basic theme of the Coen brothers' A Serious Man is universal: An ordinary man in a settled life finds that everything he has taken for granted is coming apart at the seams. His wife is leaving, his children aren't living up to expectations, and he is facing mysterious troubles at work. But it's not just any time and place. It's 1967 Minneapolis and the times they are a changing.
One sign of the changing times, with a prominent place in the movie, is Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love." The Cohen brothers explained to the New York Times that the song spoke to their own experiences growing up in the Midwest and provided just the right counterpoint to the more traditional elements of the suburban Jewish community where the movie takes place.
It came early on. It was in the script.... Jefferson Airplane in general, that song in particular ... says the period loud and clear in a very specific way ... the contrast of that music, which seemed so sort of evocative of that particular time ... the intersection of that with Jewish cantorial music was interesting to us because that's part of what we remember all getting mixed together from that time period. And that seemed like a particularly potent mix, Grace Slick and that sort of Jewish cantorial liturgy.