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First "Blood"

The Coen Brothers recut their first film, “Blood Simple”

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The Coen brothers have created a directors’ cut of their first movie, the 1984 noir Blood Simple, which will premiere at the Austin Film Festival on October 3. Though they initially intended to remaster the soundtrack from mono to stereo and insert music that they couldn’t get the rights to originally, they also ended up reediting certain scenes. ”Since we were taking the trouble to remix and remaster it,” says Ethan, 40, ”we thought we might as well look at the picture again and fix up some of the things we should have done 15 years ago.” But don’t expect to see hours of lost footage. ”The cuts are pretty small,” he says. ”Basically we were cutting for pace. You probably wouldn’t notice unless you looked at both versions back to back.”

Die-hard Coen fans may think it’s overly self-critical for the brothers to pick at details in their first film. Can’t we just attribute any errors to youthful inexperience? ”Yeah, sure … let’s blame that,” says Ethan, laughing. ”I’m sure if we looked at any of our movies 15 years on, we’d wince at things.” The brothers rarely go back to view their past films like Fargo and Barton Fink. ”And after looking at Blood Simple,” says Ethan, ”we’ll probably never do it again.”