https://coolidge.org/events/seminar-serious-man Online event
290 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Classes, Film, Lectures & Conferences, Virtual & Streaming
Film critic Jordan Hoffman leads this virtual seminar on Joel & Ethan Coen's dark existential comedy. Sponsored by Brookline Bank!
From Academy Award-winning writer/directors Joel & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man imaginatively explores questions of faith, familial responsibility, delinquent behavior, dental phenomena, academia, mortality, and Judaism – and intersections thereof.
A Serious Man is the story of an ordinary man’s search for clarity in a universe where Jefferson Airplane is on the radio and F-Troop is on TV. It is 1967, and Larry Gopnik (Tony Award nominee Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor at a quiet Midwestern university, has just been informed by his wife Judith (Sari Lennick) that she is leaving him. She has fallen in love with one of his more pompous acquaintances, Sy Ableman (Fred Melamed), who seems to her a more substantial person than the feckless Larry. Larry’s unemployable brother Arthur (Richard Kind) is sleeping on the couch, his son Danny (Aaron Wolff) is a discipline problem and a shirker at Hebrew school, and his daughter Sarah (Jessica McManus) is filching money from his wallet in order to save up for a nose job.
While his wife and Sy Ableman blithely make new domestic arrangements, and his brother becomes more and more of a burden, an anonymous hostile letter-writer is trying to sabotage Larry’s chances for tenure at the university. Also, a graduate student seems to be trying to bribe him for a passing grade while at the same time threatening to sue him for defamation. Plus, the beautiful woman next door torments him by sunbathing nude. Struggling for equilibrium, Larry seeks advice from three different rabbis. Can anyone help him cope with his afflictions and become a righteous person – a mensch – a serious man?
Jordan Hoffman is a writer and film critic based in New York City, whose work can currently be read in Vanity Fair, The Guardian, MEL Magazine and Times of Israel. He has additional bylines in the New York Times, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Vulture and Departures Magazine. For two years he was the host of Engage: The Official Star Trek Podcast, and has hosted Star Trek events in Las Vegas, New York, London, Germany and at sea. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and can be found on Twitter at @JHoffman.