There are some movies whose viewing is considered so mandatory that you're subject to derision if you cop to not having seen them. Seriously, people act as if sitting on your couch and watching movies is some sort of grand intellectual conquest on par with completing all of the works of Proust, or getting through ten pages of Ayn Rand. Blood Simple is one of those movies. Admit you haven't seen it and people feign horror, arch their brows, and deem you the cinematic Antichrist for having overlooked the film that started the Coen brothers' careers in 1984 with its twisty plot and noir roots. If you haven't seen it, be assured it's not a revelation or anything, but it is certainly worth a Netflix slot, and you'll get special film cred bonus points for checking out its surreal retelling, A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop. Director Zhang Yimou, the storied Chinese director who made Hero and House of Flying Daggers, shifts the scenery from a bar in 1980s Texas to, yes, a noodle shop in 19th century rural China. Noir it ain't, but vivid costumes and brilliant landscapes don't change the underlying bleakness of the Coen classic. A Woman, A Gun and a Noodle Shop plays at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday, and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St. Tickets are $8.50, $6.50 for Modern members. Visit themodern.org/magnolia for more information.
Oct. 8-12, 2010