For fans of filmmaking dynamic duo Joel and Ethan Coen, the news that the Criterion Collection had restored the brothers’ debut feature, the wicked 1984 crime drama “Blood Simple,” was reason enough to get excited, but that the new release comes with a bevy of special features (as is the Collection’s wont) was almost too wonderful to be believed. In celebration and anticipation of this week’s release of the restoration, the Criterion Collection has released one of the package’s special additions, a clever, meticulous and dead entertaining look at the storyboards of the classic feature.
The new video essay also gives some wonderful insight into the craftsmanship of the brothers, long a staple of their works. During the course of the film’s restoration, photographer Grant Delin created the video essay, one that compares scenes from the film to their original storyboards and includes commentary from the Coens, Barry Sonnenfeld and actress Frances McDormand.
The new Criterion Collection restoration uses the original 35 mm negative of the film, which was scanned in 16-bit 4K resolution. The Coens, alongside director of photography Barry Sonnenfeld, supervised and approved the color correction and restoration. It will be available on both Blu-ray and DVD tomorrow, September 20 (more details are below). Check out the video essay:
The new Criterion Collection restoration of “Blood Simple” will feature a new, restored 4K digital transfer, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray; a new conversation between Sonnenfeld and the Coens about the film’s look, featuring Telestrator video illustrations; a new conversation between author Dave Eggers and the Coens about the film’s production, from inception to release; new interviews with composer Carter Burwell, sound mixer Skip Lievsay, and actors Frances McDormand and M. Emmet Walsh; trailers and a new essay by novelist and critic Nathaniel Rich.
Both the Blu-ray and the 2-DVD editions of the restoration will be available starting on Tuesday, September 20.