UW Cinematheque | Blood Simple (1984)

Vilas Hall, Rm. 4070
@ 7:00 pm - 8:45 pm

Blood Simple
USA | 1984 | 35mm | 95 min.
Director: Joel Coen
Cast: Frances McDormand, M. Emmet Walsh, Dan Hedaya

The feature debut for the writing-directing team of Joel and Ethan Coen is a drenched-in-sweat, swarming-with-shadows thriller set deep in the heart of Texas. When a sleazy bar owner (Hedaya) recruits a private detective (Walsh) to catch his young wife (McDormand) with her lover (John Getz), the stage is set for a series of violent double-crosses. Working with cinematographer Barry Sonnefeld, the Coens and the colorful cast go beyond film noir with their stylish storytelling. “The characteristic Coen awareness, a sly recognition of letting the audience share their power over our access to the story world, is everywhere in evidence” (David Bordwell). The screening of a 35mm print, courtesy Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research, dwill be followed by David Bordwell’s video essay discussing point-of-view in Blood Simple (2021, 15 min.)