Few sibling filmmaking teams have been as influential as Joel and Ethan Coen. The two began making Super 8 films as kids in Minnesota and haven’t let up since. They released their debut feature Blood Simple in 1984 with backing from several private investors. Following a successful run on the festival circuit, Blood Simple cemented the Coens as promising talent capable of injecting genre cinema with art house sensibilities.

Their penchant for stylized, oddball humor led to Raising Arizona, a madcap cult hit that ranks among the finest independent comedies of the ’80s. The early to mid-’90s saw a wild period of productivity and achievement, with Miller’s Crossing, Barton Fink, and Fargo helping the Coens stand out as key figures in independent film. With darkly comedic, meandering plots, violent imagery, and tongue-in-cheek allusions to classic cinema, this period saw the Coens come into their own as wholly original filmmakers, perfecting a style that has been described by fans and critics as distinctly “Coenesque.”

The film arguably most indicative of their style is The Big Lebowski, a surprisingly popular, bizarro private-eye homage and paean to slackerdom that has garnered countless devoted fans. Following up Lebowski with the Preston Sturges–inspired Depression-era musical comedy O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the Coens continued their rise to the upper echelon of contemporary filmmakers, hitting their stride with the Cormac McCarthy adaptation No Country for Old Men. That brutal, straight-faced neo-western did little to change their tone, however, as their recent output has largely been a return to quirky black comedies such as Burn After Reading. Please join us in celebrating a retrospective of what is surely only the halfway point of a brilliant career.



Friday, May 2, 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 4, 2 p.m.

Blood Simple
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 1984, 99 min., 35mm)

Friday, May 9, 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 11, 2 p.m.

Raising Arizona
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 1987, 94 min., 35mm)

Friday, May 16, 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 18, 2 p.m.

Miller’s Crossing
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 1990, 115 min., 35mm)

Friday, May 23, 8 p.m.
Barton Fink
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 1991, 116 min., 35mm)

Friday, May 30, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 1, 2 p.m.

Fargo
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 1996, 98 min., 35mm)

Friday, June 6, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 8, 2 p.m.

The Big Lebowski
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 1998, 117 min., 35mm)

Friday, June 13, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 15, 2 p.m.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 2000, 106 min., 35mm)

Friday, June 20, 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 22, 2 p.m.

No Country for Old Men
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 2007, 122 min., 35mm)

Friday, June 27, 8 p.m.
Burn After Reading
(Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, US 2008, 96 min., 35mm)