It’s “Simple”: An Early Coen Masterwork Returns to Theaters

Joel and Ethan Coen are responsible for some of the best (and quirkiest) films of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Movies like Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and No Country for Old Men have made them favorites of new and old school cinephiliacs, and they show no signs of slowing down. However, thanks to Janus Films and the Criterion Collection, lucky filmgoers will be able to experience a gem that tends to go unnoticed in the crazy Coen universe of Dudes and multipurpose meat grinders.

Blood Simple, the brothers’ first feature film, reopens in LA’s Landmark Nuart Theatre on July 29, then rolls out to select cities for a limited run. The Texas-set film, which stars Oscar-winner and Coen favorite Frances McDormand in her first role, is a psychological noir that first hit theaters in 1984.

Some filmmakers stumble out of the gates, or experience growing pains with their first (or first several) features. But this debut earned the brothers praise from the likes of Richard Corliss (who compared them to Orson Welles) and Roger Ebert, who called the film “fiendishly clever.” Pair that fiendish brilliance with a Carter Burwell score, and the new, 4K-resolution thriller is a film you simply won’t want to miss.


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