‘Tond’ Combines Joke-Forward Sensibilities with a Coen Brothers Feel

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To watch Tond is to learn that filmmakers Kelly Hudson, Josh Ruben, and Vince Peone really dig the kind meticulous understatement made famous by the Coen Brothers. From the cinematography, to our protagonist’s shape-of-Texas wall clock — a subtle ode to middle-American banality — this short is a love note to the brains behind some of the most brilliant films of our generation.

That’s very cool, and noteworthy in the way that a really great Elvis impersonator is noteworthy, but impressive mimicry, I’m proud to say, is not enough to nab a feature in a Splitsider column. The reason Tond is the subject of this week’s write-up, then, spans beyond mere tribute. This piece doesn’t just recycle something great. It builds on it.

Juxtaposed with the muted colors, the painfully realistic dialogue, and the attack of subject matter that doesn’t at first seem sexy enough to hold mainstream attention, Internet sketch comedy vets Hudson, Ruben, and Peone bring their own joke-forward sensibilities. It’s an oddly effective marriage of the immediate funny that digital necessitates and the slow burn of a feature built by Coens who, at this point, can pace a story however the fuck they please. Funny thing is, at just 22 minutes, Tond makes me want something more like the latter, and I’d love to see this trio deliver.

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Luke is an executive producer for CollegeHumor and a watcher of many web videos. Send him yours @LKellyClyne.

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