Blood Simple is a neo-noir crime film, marking the directorial debut of Joel Coen, as well as the Director of Photography’s (Barry Sonnenfeld) first big hit. It was released in 1984 in theatres, where it was ranked very highly among critics. It tells the story of an affair which has all sorts of crazy and unpredictable effects on all parts of all the characters’ lives. It stars John Getz as Ray, Frances McDormand as Abby, and Dan Hedaya as Julian Marty.
I have chosen to analyse the first scene, starting with the opening shots of nowheresville, Texas until they arrive at the motel. The film begins with seven shots that establish the setting. This is shown as Texas, implied by the Texan accent of the man in the voiceover, and the oil rig as well as the barren lands. As the shots progress, it is shown that time elapses, as the lighting gets darker and darker. Notably, there is no sign of any humans, and the only movement is the oil drill.
Following this sequence, we are briefly shown a completely black shot give for two bright white lights, obviously a car, isolated in the middle of nowhere. It rushes past, which is a very off putting experience, because of the drastic difference of the last, slow, peaceful sequence. All of a sudden, the angle changes, and we are looking down at the road from the cars front bumpers. The voice over disappears and is replaced by the sound of the car racing by and a song.
We are soon shown the inside of the car, looking from the back seat forward, seeing the windshield wipers going, and the light outside silhouetting two figures, a woman in the passenger seat and a man next to her, driving. They are talking, discussing their lives. Soon the woman mentions receiving a gun from her husband, which tells us a few things. Firstly, she is driving in the dark with a man that is not her husband and secondly, that she owns a gun. These two facts together create suspense and an air of suspicion.
Soon, they become faintly aware of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document