Coen Brothers Fest #1: "Blood Simple"

In preparation for the release of “Intolerable Cruelty”, I have decided to have a Coen Brothers Film Fest in chronological order leading up the the premiere of the new film. Tonight’s film was the Coen debut, “Blood Simple.”

“Blood Simple”, among other things, is a clash between film noir (lot’s of ceiling fans and window blind shadows) and Murphy’s Law. Its only fault may be that they did not film this feature in black and white (a problem they remedied with with “The Man Who Wasn’t There”).

With all Coen films, one of the characters in the picture is a place and/or a time. In the case of “Blood Simple” one of the main characters is Texas. Lots of flat, unmarked roads, giant Uncle Buck style sedans, sweaty, fat guys in ten gallon hats and twangs a plenty.

This is one of two Coen films that I had not seen prior to my fest. I quite enjoyed it and was tickled after viewing. One of the most brilliant talents of the Coen brothers (or perhaps this is a flaw in my character) is to be able to present the viewer with situation that, were you in it, would be awful; however, from the outside, it is hilarious. Case in point, though not a comedy, “Fargo” is funny.

The story and plot line of “Blood Simple” are not original, but are entertaining and clever. The film’s lack of originality is comedically underscored by the prominence of the song “It’s the Same Old Song” throughout the movie.

It seems to be an homage to Dashielle Hammett with an ode to Hitchcock’s “how hard it is to kill a man” idea sprinkled in for good measure, cleverly noticed by my wife, Miranda Kopfschmertzen. (The Confused should see “Torn Curtain.”)

Next Episode: “Raising Arizona”

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