Comparative Literature | Film and Literature: The Coen Brothers, Noir, and the Hard-Boiled Novel
C310 | 6266 | AI: April Witt

C310 (6266) Film and Literature: The Coen Brothers, Noir, and the
Hard-Boiled Novel
Instructor: April Witt           MWF 10:10- 11:00
Fulfills A&H requirement

Famous for Fargo and O Brother, Where Art Thou?, among others,  the
Coen Brothersí films often reflect their debt to the novels that
comprise the Hard-Boiled detective genre and film noir. This class
will begin with a brief exploration of the influence of Hard-Boiled
literature on Hollywood film noir, examining Daishell Hammetís The
Maltese Falcon and its adaptation. Next, we will focus on how and why
the Coen Brothers rework the conventions of these genres in their
movies. We will read the hard boiled novels and other literature that
the Coen Brothers adapted when creating many of their films, such as
Blood Simple, Millerís Crossing, The Man Who Wasnít There, and The
Big Lebowski. These novels will include Daishell Hammettís The Glass
Key and Red Harvest, James Cainís The Postman Always Rings Twice and
Double Indemnity, Albert Camusí The Stranger, and Raymond Williamsí
The Big Sleep, among others. We will concurrently study theories of
adaptation and investigate theories of postmodernism in order to
understand the significance of the Coen Brothersí work. There will be
a few required movie screenings on Monday evenings.  Grades will be
based on weekly quizzes, and paper proposal and presentation, and the
final paper.