Jul 02, 2020  
Catalogue 2020-2021 
    
Catalogue 2020-2021
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FILM 234 - The Coen Brothers as Postmodern Auteurs

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)
This class considers the career and work of Joel and Ethan Coen from Blood Simple (1984) to The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) through the lenses of industry, culture, and aesthetics. We learn how the Coens came to typify the association of auteurism with festival-based promotional strategies and revisionist genre films in post-classical Hollywood. At the same time, we also discuss the two ways in which they question and destabilize the very notion of auteurism. First, as we explore the role adaptation, quotation, and genre mixing play in their acquisition and development of film properties, we ask how these prototypically postmodern qualities call the notion of the director as author into question. Second, as we investigate the formal aspects of their films, we ask how their work critiques the notion of any kind of authorial or authority figure being present or useful in modern life. Assignments include short reaction papers, a genre or adaptation presentation, and a final research paper. Erica Stein.

Prerequisite(s): FILM 175  or FILM 209  and permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods plus outside screenings.

Course Format: CLS



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