I can't really speak intelligently about the racial make-up of WWII militaries, so I'll leave the Eastwood comment alone (except to point out that, uh, Letters from Iwo Jima was told from the point of view of the Japanese, and I'm pretty sure that they, at least, didn't have a lot of black soldiers). As for the Coens: I don't see how anyone who's seen The Man Who Wasn't There could honestly say that the Brothers treat life (or death) as a joke. They're masters of tone, and they can be cavalier when called for (e.g. the Fargo woodchipper, most of Barton Fink), but they can get serious with the best of them. The sheer unrelenting intensity of No Country for Old Men -- which, I presume, is the film Lee was primarily referring to -- refutes the claim that anything in that movie is "a joke." The Coens approach life and death in ways that are interesting. Lee's comment shows a surprising inability (or unwillingness) to register nuance.
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