It’s only been a couple years since I wrote about Blood Simple, but in those two years my appreciation for the Coen Brothers’ debut work has grown a bit. Oh, I liked it in 1984 and I liked it in 2008, but I like it even better now. Why? Well, in part, it has to do with seeing it in 2008 with an audience. Getting that audience reaction and that audience vibe made the film come alive in a way that solitary viewings never can do, which is one reason I strongly urge readers to go to this screening, especially if they’ve only seen the film at home.
In addition to that viewing experience, I saw another fresh voice in film announce himself: Rian Johnson with Brick, a 2006 film I didn’t see until much later. With his film, Johnson takes a tip from the Coens and puts a new spin on the classic noir genre. And now we’re about to welcome the latest filmmakers—the Edgerton Brothers—with the latest extension—the Edgertons’ The Square—of what the Coens started 26 years ago. This is all, in its way, part of the legacy of the Coens and their low-budget calling card Blood Simple. What better time to look at the Coens’ debut film again, as preparation for the release of The Square on Friday? And to remember why we fell in love with the Coens in the first place.