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Marj
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:43 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
It is, Whiskey. I think we all agree on that.

I'll be happy to moderate Intolerable Cruelty if I'm still here. I have a surgery coming up, though I'm not sure exactly when. And before that I have to work. But I'll try.
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gromit
Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8799 Location: Shanghai
whiskeypriest wrote:
Copyright issues.

Sure, that's what I said.
But the first song worked so well on many levels, and then the replacement was just a song without significance.
So I'm hoping there's somewhere/-way to get The Same Old Song version. Maybe you just have to do it yourself.

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Marc
Posted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:30 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
Had to resort to netflix for a copy of BLOOD SIMPLE. It will arrive tomorrow and I'll post then.
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knox
Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:11 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1215 Location: St. Louis
The phrase,

"I'll be happy to moderate Intolerable Cruelty...."

made me laugh.

I am easily amused?
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Marj
Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:14 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Yes. Unless I'm missing something.
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knox
Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:31 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 1215 Location: St. Louis
Don't think of the upper case letters, then say the phrase aloud. Does that help? (the other common meaning of "moderate" --?)
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whiskeypriest
Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
Yes, if you moderate them they are no longer intolerable, are they?

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Marj
Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:45 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
knox wrote:
Don't think of the upper case letters, then say the phrase aloud. Does that help? (the other common meaning of "moderate" --?)


Perhaps had I italicized or bolded the name of the movie ... But yes, I kind of see your point.
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marantzo
Posted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:27 pm Reply with quote
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knox wrote:
The phrase,

"I'll be happy to moderate Intolerable Cruelty...."

made me laugh.

I am easily amused?


I laughed at that too. I was too lazy to write a comment at the time.
Marc
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:30 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
Blood Simple is a movie with a wicked sense of humor, both in the dialogue and in the visuals. I'm going to focus on the visual aspects of the film. The Coen Brothers use celluloid not only as medium but as language. Thru deft cutting, wild tracking shots, visual puns, lighting and color, Blood Simple is rock and roll for the eyes.

The movie is so dense with detail that I'm going to deal with just the first 30 minutes in this riff. I'll post later on the rest of the film.

The movie opens with a shot of a chunk of rubber tire on a desolate highway. The tire looks like roadkill. A montage of oil rigs, an abandoned drive-in theater, and parched landscape set the tone: this is no man's land, a nice place to die, to kill or be killed. A voice narrates:

"The world is full o' complainers. An' the fact is, nothin' comes with a guarantee. Now I don't care if you're the pope of Rome, President of the United States or Man of the Year; somethin' can all go wrong. Now go on ahead, y'know, complain, tell your problems to your neighbor, ask for help, 'n watch him fly. Now, in Russia, they got it mapped out so that everyone pulls for everyone else... that's the theory, anyway. But what I know about is Texas, an' down here... you're on your own."

It's hot in Texas and the shit is about to hit the fan.

Cut to two people in a car at night, a man and woman. Rain is slicking the windshield with neon tears and the wipers are slapping time to a synthesizer soundtrack. The couple exchange a few lines of cryptic dialogue that hint at seduction. The actor credits appear on the screen in the flare of oncoming headlights. The thrum of the wiper blades keep beat with the background music and whisk away the credits. It's a great effect and it's subtle. And sensual...just like the exchange of glances and half spoken words that drift between the two passengers. This car is clearly heading toward an exit sign leading to pussy heaven.

Two naked bodies wrapped in sheets fuck while the flash of headlights thrash across their flesh and the roar of trucks envelopes them in a highway throb.

The woman is married, the lover is employed by her husband. A classic noir tale. But The Coen Brothers are not classicists. This is neo-noir seeped in psychedelic neon and filtered thru the brain pans of two young artists who grew up on Eerie Comics and Chiller Theater.

The boss is out to get even. His wife is a slut. A conversation about tough justice ends with pink smoke rings dancing out of the mouth of a seedy detective.

Perfectly white tennis shoes glide across the barroom floor, the camera tracking behind them like a hungry puppy.

Camera tracks along bar and ascends up and over a passed out drunk. This creates a giddy mood.

The cuckolded husband is confronted by his wife's lover. His suppressed anger given expression by a mosquito zapper frying flying insects a few inches from his head. He's seething. Mosquitoes are going up in puffs of smoke like tiny Hindenburgs. The husband's face contorts like a Chinese gymnast.

Shadows, neon signs, light sliced like incandescent meat by the blades of venetian blinds, this is the language of noir. The Coen Brothers know the language and they give it a punk rock spin. Everything's amped up, edgy, pressing at the seams.

Front lawn. Husband confronts cheating wife. A fight begins. The camera races toward the scene in a smooth tracking shot that ends with the snap of a broken finger. The camera movement echoes the delirious tracking shots in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies.

(As I write this, a high speed car chase on the street outside my window, cops pursuing a Toyota Camry, sirens wailing like pigs on a slaughter house floor).

Cut to a close-up of the husband's hand, with splinted broken finger, swinging like a pendulum as a ska version of "Louie Louie" skanks on the soundtrack. Camera pulls back, he's walking thru a vacant lot surrounded by horny teenyboppers on the prowl. Some punk kid calls out "pussy finger!" Not only do hearts get broken in love, bones are victims too. But, the biggest victim is pride. When the badge of honor is torn from a man's ready-to-wear poly-cotton sport shirt, vengeance is the needle and thread that'll sew that fucker back on. Pussy finger is about to get his revenge....or is he?

"You know, you know, a friend of mine a while back broke his hand and put it in a cast. Very next day, he falls, protects his bad hand, and he breaks his good one. So he breaks it too, you know. So, now he's got two busted flippers. So, I says to him: "Creighton," I says. "I hope your wife really loves you, because for the next five weeks, you can't even wipe your own god damn ass."

Coming up: titty lightbulbs, fly sweat and the gut shot blues.
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billyweeds
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:38 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 20554 Location: New York City
Before you get to it, let me say that the high point of the film (and still one of the high points of the Coens' career to date) is the Rube-Goldberg-meets-The-Three-Stooges-meets-Alfred-Hitchcock scene involving M. Emmet Walsh, a knife, and a window. It's mind-blowingly brilliant and still stands as one of the all-time calling cards in film history. With that scene (and the general excellence of the film around it) the Coen Brothers announced themselves as filmmakers ready for the pantheon. That they have fulfilled their promise is a joy to contemplate--and a sad contrast with burnt-out cases like, say, Michael Cimino.
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marantzo
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:13 am Reply with quote
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Marc, great intro for the movie. Love the words you use to describe the visuals.
whiskeypriest
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:19 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
Marc wrote:
The camera races toward the scene in a smooth tracking shot that ends with the snap of a broken finger. The camera movement echoes the delirious tracking shots in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead movies.
Nice start; worth noting that Joel Coen made his bones editing for Raimi.

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whiskeypriest
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:23 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 6916 Location: "It's a Dry Heat."
billyweeds wrote:
Before you get to it, let me say that the high point of the film (and still one of the high points of the Coens' career to date) is the Rube-Goldberg-meets-The-Three-Stooges-meets-Alfred-Hitchcock scene involving M. Emmet Walsh, a knife, and a window. It's mind-blowingly brilliant and still stands as one of the all-time calling cards in film history. With that scene (and the general excellence of the film around it) the Coen Brothers announced themselves as filmmakers ready for the pantheon. That they have fulfilled their promise is a joy to contemplate--and a sad contrast with burnt-out cases like, say, Michael Cimino.
Yeah - I linked to that scene earlier. Got an audience wide oral reaction - gasps, ahhh's, oh shit. The film - and the Coens - had hooked me before that, in the scene where Ray buries (we can dispense with spoiler alerts here, right?) the not quite entirely dead Marty by the head lights of his car, and then the camera pans away in the dawn. But that scene really sunk the hook in deeper.

I like marc's approach; Blood Simple is such a brilliant technique movie it almost calls for that shot by shot approach.

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gromit
Posted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:55 am Reply with quote
Joined: 31 Aug 2004 Posts: 8799 Location: Shanghai
Lots of memorable moments and dialogue in the film.
Though by now I must have seen it 5 or 6 times, so it's not hard to recollect parts.

I love the camera panning down the bar and over the passed-out drunk. Clever, but also signals a certain playfulness and inventive energy.

Nice little touches throughout the film, such as Meurice doing the brief little shuffle on the bartop returning from the jukebox. Cars going the wrong way down Ray's dead end street and having to angrily turn around. The bug zapper. The crane pull-back to reveal the obvious tire tracks and mess Ray has made burying Marty on some farmland. M. Emmet asking the injured Marty if he put his finger in the wrong person's rectum.

I like how Walsh's detective is the dark presence in the film. As though, once you've invited in evil, it permeates everything -- all relationships, all notions of trust, etc. The scene that Billy is talking about is masterfully staged and edited. A real tour de force. Which noir did they swipe the bullet going through the wall (a door in the original) and letting a thin shaft of light into a darkened room? I know it ends an old 40's film, but can't recall which. In any case, it's a brilliant borrowing, amped up and expanded.

It's also interesting to note how compact the film is. There are only 4 main characters and Meurice who helps move the plot along at times. As I recall, anyone else we see in the bar is mostly just an extra.

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