I have to give up my “nothing happens, so this sucks” card for not rating this lower. The “investigation” into the brother’s suicide is entirely internal. NOTHING happens in Radio On. It’s not sonically saturated enough to play like a music video either. I can’t say I wasn’t relieved when it ended, but I didn’t find myself distracted while watching either.
I also have to give up my “it’s meant to disengage and bore you, so this sucks” card. Beneath…
It’s hard to evaluate these early films from directors who spent the rest of their careers iterating on them. It’s like Mean Streets or Bottle Rocket. A good film with nothing that the director wouldn’t go on to do better in subsequent efforts. To its credit, Blood Simple is more polished and confidently directed than both of those efforts.
It's a marvel to see how much world building Glazer does without a single line of expository dialogue. All the moments which were confounding on the first watch make perfect sense. Masterful visual storytelling. Quite a feat to make a film that reads this experimental on first watch and this conventional on second watch.
The cold perspective on a society which equates beauty with value makes the first half a perfect film. Part of me wishes that it ended with…