During the 2012 Sundance Film Festival I noticed at least two films (Red Lights, Black Rock) in which a protagonist who’s recently been in an ultra-violent altercation walks around in public view with dried blood on his/her face. (I think at least one other Sundance film went in for this.) This is similar to Ryan Gosling walking around during the final 25% of Drive with brownish blood stains on his white scorpion jacket.

This is a bullshit affectation favored by wanna-be-cool directors, and I’m saying right now to Nicholas Winding Refn and all the others that it ends here and now. Nobody in the actual world ever walks around with globs of dried blood on their person. It would be like walking the streets with a big sandwich-board ad that says “HAVE JUST BEEN IN VIOLENT ALTERCATION” and “LOOKING AROUND FOR NEXT PERSON TO HIT OR SHOOT.” It would obviously attract attention, especially from the law, and anyone who’s just beaten up or killed somebody usually wants anything but that. Plus blood is unattractive and sticky, and I think there’s some kind of instinct that we’re all born with to wash it off as soon as possible.