New digital restoration of the directors’ cut! Nobody knew who the directors and writers who called themselves “The Coen Brothers” were when Blood Simple was first released in 1984. We sure do now, and this razor-sharp modern film noir, the first film by Joel and Ethan Coen, introduced the brothers’ inimitable black humor and eccentric sense of character, a sensibility that has helped shape the course of contemporary American cinema. Deep in the heart of Texas, a sleazy bar owner suspects his wife of having an affair and hires a private detective to confirm his suspicions—only to have the crosshairs turned back on himself. Crosses, double-crosses…the characters in the movie definitely don’t know what’s really going on—but do we? Playfully shot by Barry Sonnenfeld and featuring a haunting score by Carter Burwell and a cunning performance by Frances McDormand, Blood Simple was a career-launching film for this ensemble and the first articulation of the precision of style that has defined the Coens’ work ever since (including Miller’s Crossing, also showing at this year’s MIFF).