Welcome to the black comedy of the Coen brothers. We’ll concentrate on three films, starting with their first, Blood Simple (1984), a neo-noir, influenced by film noirs of the 40’s and 50’s. But it is also a post-modern text about uncertainty, misunderstanding, and other films.
See you on October 4th,
Best, Julia Bader
Through films ranging from Miller’s Crossing and Fargo to No Country for Old Men and True Grit, the Coen Brothers have distinguished themselves as masters in creating highly stylized filmic universes, charged with absurdity and violence. In this course we will discuss three of the Coen Brothers’ noir comedies, concentrating on the high and low cultural elements and discussing their use of Hollywood genres, parodies of classic conventions, and representation of arbitrariness.
- Blood Simple (where to watch)
October 4th at 6 p.m.
For our session, you might consider
- the “auteur” aspect: the presence of the director[s] in the auditory and visual elements, its mixture of art film and popular culture, its gestures at horror film and film noir.
- the convolutions of the plot: its surprises, its regional characters.
- the “existential” themes of bad luck, uncertainty, isolation, bleakness.
- the comic elements.
- Fargo (where to watch)
November 1st at 6 p.m.
- A Serious Man (where to watch)
December 6th at 6 p.m.