Joel Coen

I came to Austin in 1979 because I was married to a woman in the graduate program in linguistics at the University of Texas. I enrolled in the graduate film school there, but after one semester I quit. I had just gotten out of New York University, and my leaving UT was a result of my realization that, after four years as an undergraduate, I was finished with classes. But during the nine months or a year that I spent in Austin, I met a number of people who were connected with the film industry, and that led to the shooting of Blood Simple . Austin had an infrastructure that was necessary to make a low-budget, independently produced movie, so we shot the entire thing there. It was a passion-murder sort of story, and from my point of view, the exoticism of the locale made it interesting. I haven’t been back in almost fifteen years, but after having made a number of films elsewhere, it remains one of my favorite places to work on location. Joel Coen and his brother, Ethan, have written, directed, and produced eight films together, including Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, and Fargo, which won two Oscars in 1997. He will return to Austin in early October for the Austin Film Festival, where a reedited version of Blood Simple , retitled Blood Simple—Forever Young, will have its world premiere. BRIAN D. SWEANY

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