Auteur Theory: Coen Brothers
151 | CCN: 31750
In this course we will examine the films of 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 screen and analyze most of the Coens’ major films including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother Where Art Thou?, A Serious Man, No Country For Old Men, True Grit, and Inside Llewyn Davis.