Though it’s always a welcome sight on any screen, the fact is that this marks the third time I’ve written something about the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple (1984), and I simply don’t have anything to add to what I’ve said (at this moment at least), so I’m defaulting to this brief assessment — As a movie in and of itself, Blood Simple is almost impossibly entertaining. Yes, its story—of a bad husband (Dan Hedaya) whose wife (Frances McDormand) runs off with one of her bar-owner spouse’s bartenders (John Getz)—is little more than an exercise in James M. Cain-styled noir, as is the husband’s decision to have a corrupt private eye (M. Emmett Walsh) agree to kill the duo. But what makes it work is the manner in which the Coens’ screenplay constantly turns on itself with alarming precision, the quirky cynicism of the dialogue and the memorable ways in which the film is shot. There are some obvious budgetary constrictions, but these fall into insignificance thanks to the cumulative effect of the whole film. In fact, it’s a virtual textbook of how to make a unique film with very little money—and one of the best debut works around.
Wedge Brewery will show Blood Simple on Saturday, July 11 (Rain date: Aug. 2). Films start 15 minutes after sundown. They are shown outside. We’ve got a limited number of chairs, so it’s a good idea to pack a folding chair or a blanket, and maybe a jacket because it does get chilly when the sun goes down. El Kimchi has great Mexican/Korean street food for purchase, but no popcorn! So, if popcorn is part of someone’s movie experience, they’ll need to pack that, too.