So it’s hard to think about this film outside of how it’s a Coen brothers film and it looks and feels like a Coen brothers film. I guess one of the things about the film that really stuck out to me were the opening shots, bleak, textured images that looked kind of like Ted Bundy’s painted Americana, gross and dirty and just kind of the way things are. They are, in many ways, perfect images of morality in Coen-verse. Coupled with the cripplingly convoluted and inane voice over, they show us an America (that is very specifically American) that just kind of fumbles and screws up over and over and over again, without ever being aware of what it is doing. A naive America–now that’s a novel idea which has never been discussed in art or literature ever before. Nope.

But seriously, the Coen’s approach to Americana is really intriguing. And I’m not *quite* sure why. I think maybe it’s the judgement of naivety while simultaneously alienating the viewer viewer style, especially shot angle and lack of depth in shots (the most alienating ones are the flattest, like the opening landscapes of the film), as well as sound and odd–albeit tight–story structure/characters. These choices allow the viewer to laugh at the stupid, naive decisions made by the characters in the film because, hey, they’re not invested in the character’s well-being or safety. Similarly, the world that the characters come from is equally stupid and meaningless, chock full of meaningless characters and places . Meaningful events can happen, but they are meaningless due to their location and/or the characters involved. I guess if you put this in a larger social context…well, I don’t know quite what you get exactly. It seems like Coen brothers take a strong stance on human nature, while managing to stay out of stuff like contemporary politics and/or social concerns. Which is pretty impressive, I guess, when you think about the films being made just a few years beforehand…Mean Streets, Apocalypse Now, hell, the 1980s were chock full of socially aware films, even the ones that tried to avoid politics by making fun of them (Raiders of the Lost Ark, for instance). So I dunno. Maybe Blood Simple was the Coen brothers’ attempt to make a film that had no social/political agenda…focusing instead on speaking truths about human nature and The Way Things Are. Is that part of indie style nowadays? Maybe that’s why a lot of “indie” films suck so bad. Because they filmmakers are preaching the State of Humanity without being as intelligent, visionary, witty, or plain old talented as the Coen brothers.

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