*Ben Walters and J. M. Tyree have been talking about movies, often amicably, since 1995. Together, they wrote a critical appreciation of The Big Lebowski for The British Film Institute's Film Classics series of books, and reviewed No Country for Old Men and Burn After Reading for Sight & Sound. They recently had a transatlantic chat about Blood Simple, the Coens' first feature. Blood Simple has been remade by Zhang Yimou as A Woman, A Gun, and a Noodle Shop, set for a limited theatrical release in the States on 3 September. This prompted thoughts about homage, genre looting, pulp, and Wong Kar-Wai's Barton Fink…
12:46 PM JMT: Just watching the end of Body Heat…
wanna finish it?
12:47 PM JMT: Not unless you want to wait 15 mins…no need…I know what happens…
BW: i don't mind
JMT: Let's start!
BW: all righty then
12:50 PM JMT: I'd been thinking about Blood Simple and Body Heat after watching the Australian noir The Square. Then we noticed that Zhang Yimou’s remake of Blood Simple, called A Woman, A Gun, and A Noodle Shop, was getting reviewed and released. A good excuse to revisit Blood Simple…
12:51 PM BW: tell me about the square, i don't know that one
12:53 PM JMT: Brothers Nash & Joel Edgerton made this delightfully grim Aussie crime thriller in 2008 featuring infidelity, murder, and arson. The deadly fire is set off using Christmas tree lights!
12:54 PM BW: ho ho ho
that passed me by. is it notably similar to blood simple or more of a fellow pastiche?
12:57 PM JMT: It has that same sense of pressure and humor – a dog is eaten by an alligator and it's played for laughs.
BW: well, that's pretty funny
i think noir has always had a sense of humour
12:58 PM it's easy to overlook now that it's such a venerated genre but most of them had some kind of absurdity