Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
Palmer's film is that rare concert doc that isn't for established fans only.
A lot has been written about the visual style of "Blood Simple," but I think the appeal of the movie is more elementary. It keys into three common nightmares: (1) You clean and clean but there's still blood all over the place; (2) You know you have committed a murder, but you are not sure quite how or why; (3) You know you have forgotten a small detail that will eventually get you into a lot of trouble.
"Blood Simple" mixes those fears and guilts into an incredibly complicated plot, with amazingly gory consequences. It tells a story in which every individual detail seems to make sense, and every individual choice seems logical, but the choices and details form a bewildering labyrinth in which there are times when even the murderers themselves don't know who they are.
Because following the plot is one of this movie's most basic pleasures, I will not reveal too much. The movie begins with a sleazy backwoods bar owner's attempt to hire a scummy private detective to murder his wife. The private eye takes the money and then pulls a neat double-cross: He shoots the bar owner who hired him. That way, the killer keeps the money and eliminates the only witness who could, implicate him. Neat.
Meanwhile, the bar owner's wife has fallen in love with one of the bartenders. They know nothing about the private eye, even though they know somebody has been following them. So, when the bartender finds the bloody body of the bar owner, of course he thinks the guy was killed by the wife. But . . . and I will not breathe another word.