UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Undergraduate

Spring 2018

151-001 | CCN: 24300

Auteur Theory: The Films of the Coen Brothers

Eileen Jones,

4 Units

In this course we will examine the films of the writer-director-producer team Joel and Ethan Coen in terms of the ways in which these films confirm, challenge, and provide insight into existing theories of film authorship. The Coens are useful “trouble cases” when it comes to auteur theory, having positioned themselves and their work in an ambiguous relationship to the often-opposed categories that typically inform these theories: Hollywood studio and independent film practices, classic and postmodern filmmaking techniques, art film and mass entertainment aesthetics, and American and European critical sensibilities. We will analyze most of the Coens’ major films including Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and No Country For Old Men.