School Papers

The However Visser edited the pictures of Abby

The film Blood Simple, Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen is one of the Coen brothers first films. It is  the first major film of cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld who became a well known director, he later did the Men In Black films. The film also was the first film for Joel Coen’s wife Frances McDormand who starred in a lot of his films. The film did not perform great in the box office, with a 1,500,000 budget they only made 3,851,855 in the box office (wikipedia). Regardless Blood Simple is now a well known film with it having been released 2 more times with minor touch ups. The first time in 2001 when the Coen brothers wanted to fix some of their editing mishaps, it was called the director’s cut and the second in 2016 brought it to blu-ray and with a 4k digital transfer and also gave some special features. It was called the collector’s edition.Blood simple was designed to show the complex string of events between a husband and his disloyal wife, her affair with another man and a hitman who’s only real goal is money.The film Blood Simple takes place in a small town in Texas. Just like many other film noir films the main focus of the story is adultery. Abby (Frances McDormand) was growing tired of her husband, Marty. So Abby was having an affair with Ray (John Getz). A bartender at one of Marty’s tavern. however, Marty is suspicious of them and hires Visser (M. Emmet Walsh),a private investigator to find out if his hunch was correct. Visser then then returns with proof of Abby’s infidelity and agrees to take out both Abby and Ray and provide proof when it is done. However Visser edited the pictures of Abby and Ray’s death and they are both still alive. A large difference between this film and most other thrillers is the way that the Coen brothers only let the audience know all of the information so that they can watch helplessly as the characters make choices based on false information. The plot of the film is expertly planned out with crucially important misunderstandings woven in so well and comes across amazingly natural.The Coen brothers did an exquisite job picking the talent for the film. A lot of the actors were early in their careers such as Frances McDormand. The Coen brothers played to the strengths of the actors such as how M. Emmet Walsh throughout his career was able to make himself evil in everything his character does and you see that skill used a few times in the film. When you take into account what the characters know during the film they behave rationally and naturally showing the quality of both the acting and the script. Another area of the film that the Coen brothers did an astounding job of was  choosing their technical director:  Barry Sonnenfeld. Sonnenfeld was hired after being the director of photography on the oscar nominated film In Our Water. In the film Sonnenfeld works with the Coen brothers to create some very exquisite shots such as in the scene where Marty tries to take Abby From Ray’s house. It is shot using the shaky camera technique. The camera rushes toward Marty and Ray  almost like a dog. They even added the sound of a dog panting to the shot. The Coen brothers also play with the idea of light and darkness. But instead of the conventional idea of light representing safety and the darkness representing danger they flipped it so that light represents danger and darkness shows safety. This can be seen in how Marty decided to attack in the middle of the day as well as how Abby appears safe in the dark room while Visser, in a well lit bathroom is susceptible to an attack.The ceiling is also an important part of the film in the way that it changes its appearance.  For example when Marty is reaching into the safe to get money for Visser’s alleged hit the ceiling is visible with blood red lighting, foreshadowing Marty’s murder. That same lighting can be seen on the ceiling when Ray finds Marty  dead. The film also contains a few references or homages to other works and directors, such as the shaky cam technique cane from Raimi, who they later worked with or how Visser’s name is never mentioned. Most likely because of how Visser means monster in Dashiell Hammett’s Continental Op. Blood Simple, although it never did amazing  in the box office was a huge catalyst for many peoples careers and later on became famous, so famous that it was re released, twice! And was even re made in China by the great Zhang Yimou. Blood Simple also won multiple awards:  Independent Script award for best director, Independent Script award for best male lead and the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize. Blood Simple is an an enticing, fast paced film that is expertly planned and beautifully executed with a multitude of talented people working on it.