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The Coen Brothers and the Post–Hollywood Studio Era

4. 1976 to the Present

4. 1999–Present

  1. William Luhr

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470671153.wbhaf087

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

How to Cite

Luhr, W. 2011. The Coen Brothers and the Post–Hollywood Studio Era. The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film. 4:4:83.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

Abstract

Joel and Ethan Coen are among the post–studio era American filmmakers whose careers followed the collapse of the Hollywood studio system around 1960 but whose work reveals nostalgia for films, genres, and production practices of that system's “Golden Age” (the 1930s–1950s). Many of these filmmakers learned their craft not as their predecessors had done, by working their way up from within the industry, but instead in university film schools. The first generation of such directors includes Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg; the Coens are among the second generation. Members of the first generation often allied themselves with major studios or production enterprises, produced films in the classical style, and welcomed opportunities to make big-budget films that evoked nostalgia for popular Hollywood genres. Some of them sought production power comparable to that held by studio moguls of the past, such as Jack L. Warner, Samuel Goldwyn, Louis B. Mayer, Harry Cohn, and Daryl F. Zanuck, and even established their own studios or production facilities, like American Zoetrope (Coppola and Lucas), Industrial Light and Magic (Lucas), and DreamWorks (Spielberg).

Keywords:

  • coen brothers;
  • post–Hollywood studio;
  • dark comedy;
  • film genre;
  • remake