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Coens fargo and no country for old men the language of color and light

Caught in that sensual music all neglect Monuments of unageing intellect. Perhaps not so much, or not at all, in the general sense: Like so many old people, she felt ignored and discarded, her knowledge and wisdom disregarded.

Their weapons might not have been so peculiar, their haircuts might not have been as silly, but the ruthlessness, brutality and disregard for human life is hardly a 20th-century invention. Why not start with the best? Nominated for eight Academy Awards and winning half best director, picture, supporting actor and adapted screenplayNo Country for Old Men was both a critical and commercial success, and rightfully earned its place on a huge majority of top ten lists of 2007. It is him and his actions that the good-natured, righteous local sheriff Ed Tom Bell cannot grasp: The unrelenting game of cats and mice is what comprises the bulk of No Country for Old Men, as the sheriff fruitlessly tries to find both the killer and the hunted thief, while Chigurh and Moss square off in motels, hotel rooms, on the street, in several different states.

But the three of them never share a scene together, with the tired sheriff always trying to catch up and always being a step behind and thus helplessly failing to make a difference.

There is no ultimate showdown. There is no moment of satisfaction, no crowd-pleasing sequence of good finally trumping evil, not a trace of poetic justice. Why would there be? Poetic justice belongs to literature. No Country for Old Men is life, and the chaos and pure chance that constitute it in most cases.

With their longtime collaborator Roger Deakins behind the cameras and old partner Carter Burwell here to deliver a subtle and discrete score, the Coen brothers were in complete control of the picture, especially considering they even edited it themselves under their Roderick Jaynes pseudonym. Their favorite sound designer Skip Lievsay handled the sound: Perfection and complete control over every aspect of creation.

Cormac McCarthy was supposedly satisfied with what the brothers did with his novel. We cannot speak in his name, nor in the name of audiences everywhere, coens fargo and no country for old men the language of color and light for us, No Country for Old Men remains definitely one of the best films of this century.

Brilliant ingredients do not necessarily lead to a perfect meal, but in this case, it seems everything fell into its intended place. For educational and research purposes only. Absolutely our highest recommendation.

My grandfather was a lawman; father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time; him up in Plano and me out here. I know I was. Some of the old time sheriffs never even wore a gun. A lotta folks find that hard to believe. I always liked to hear about the oldtimers.

  • The landscape was very important to them and the look of the film was very consciously created by their choice of locations;
  • Who is to say which is more valid?
  • For educational and research purposes only;
  • Also, writing for other people is an interesting exercise;
  • They are all so different;
  • Though I guess getting exposed to different kinds of filmmaking, and becoming more open-minded about cinema, is one of the advantages of going to film school.

Never missed a chance to do so. My arrest and my testimony. He killt a fourteen-year-old girl. Said he knew he was going to hell. I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. Did you read the Cormac McCarthy novel prior to production?

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How did your reading of the text affect your perspective of the film? I read the book before it was published. Joel told me they were adapting it and would, maybe, direct the film. The script is close to the book. The book certainly gave me ideas about the visuals, but when you are shooting a film it is the director who is most influential in the way you see something. To which of your previous projects, with Joel and Ethan Coen or otherwise, would you compare No Country?

They are all so different. No Country is a cautionary tale and in that way similar to Fargo, although that is the only real similarity. We were to do To the White Sea, based on the James Dickey novel, at one time, and that was closer, in many ways, than any film I have worked on with the brothers. To many viewers, No Country seems to be a logical project for the Coens, very much in keeping with their previous films.

Do you see this film as a departure from their oeuvre or as a natural continuation? Who would not want to make a film from such an interesting piece of writing? Who cares if it was a so called departure from their other films—their oeuvre, whatever that is.

Who decides what their oeuvre is, by the way, marketers and advertising executives? A film is a film! Sure, it was a blend of ideas about the Old West, the rise of violence in society, border drug dealing, and the search for any meaning to it all.

That is the world Cormac was writing about. In reference to the Western elements of the film, how would you characterize its cinematic heritage—were there particular Westerns that influenced your camera work as you approached the project? I love many of the films of Sam Peckinpah. I never thought of any other film or image whilst I was shooting No Country. There is never time to contemplate such things whilst in production.

Certainly not the films I have worked on. I just get on and shoot the script. The landscape of No Country seems to be a character itself. Was this a conscious goal as you filmed, or do you think that this presence is inherent in the New Mexico and Texas locations themselves? The setting or at least a visual interpretation it, whether it be a coal mine, a motel room, or a desert, is important to any film.

The landscape that acts as a backdrop for No Country was no exception. Its presence is referred to by the characters who seemed very much a part of it and whose actions are in some way dictated by it.

‘No Country for Old Men’: The Coen Brothers and Cormac McCarthy’s Ruthless Examination of Life

It is a recurrent image throughout the film but the environment that No Country is set in is about more than just the landscape. Probably, the bulk of the story takes place in motels, hotels, gas stations, and on the street, all of which were very evocatively described in the book.

  • Most of the time, really, film students are looking for advice on how to raise money;
  • I tend to read history and science books more than fiction, but I have read most of the novels of Bradbury, Philip K;
  • But I guess the main lesson is that you have to remain flexible;
  • How did your reading of the text affect your perspective of the film?
  • So they checked to see if Mark Strong might be available.

Joel and Ethan both had very clear ideas of the kind of environment they wanted for the film, and so we spent many days scouting that part of Texas described in the book, and locations, mainly in New Mexico, that were more realistic financially for us to use for the shoot. The landscape was very important to them and the look of the film was very consciously created by their choice of locations.

We eventually shot for about six days out of Marfa in Texas so that we could establish a more distant horizon than that available to us from where we were based in Santa Fe. The storyboards are continually developed as we prep a film and usually incorporate what the locations have to offer by the time we get to shooting.

There were some spontaneous changes to the storyboards based on the light and so on, but not many. Quite often we shoot fewer shots than are boarded as we see how one shot can work for more than might have been intended.

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We played a scene between the two sheriffs in a different shot to the ones boarded. It was raining that night and, partly to save time and because I liked the idea of the two profiles in silhouette, we shot the scene in the one angle against the rear wall of the coffee shop.

I think that if and when something changes it is, most often, to connect or simplify the coverage. The motel-room scene with Ed Tom and Chigurh invites multiple viewings and much speculation as to the literal, physical presence of Chigurh behind the door when Bell walks into the room.

  • One thing that bothers me about many of the comments posted here by those who loved the film is the inference that you must be an idiot if don't like it, that you must only appreciate mindless action films if you don't love No Country for Old Men;
  • You have commented on the voyeuristic nature of documentaries and the moral dilemmas which accompany that kind of filmmaking; does No Country strike you at all as voyeuristic, perhaps because of the rather graphic violence therein?
  • No Country is a cautionary tale and in that way similar to Fargo, although that is the only real similarity;
  • Probably, the bulk of the story takes place in motels, hotels, gas stations, and on the street, all of which were very evocatively described in the book;
  • There is no ultimate showdown;
  • When asked by W Magazine how many takes it took, Jones simply answered:

Would you care to comment as to your reading of this scene? I think the book is as elusive as the film on this point, but Chigurh is evil and, perhaps, the devil. Of course film has the power to help break down prejudice and inform people. To me, Chigurh represents the dark side of our nature, our basest fears and a loss of human decency.

He is as much a part of the world we are creating as Moss. We live as individuals and by our own individual codes. Even Chigurh lives by a code. A successful film should create a feeling of place and time, and a sense of how the people in the story live their lives.

I always thought that if you could show people what life is like for their neighbors, it could only help change things for the better. I still believe that. Is his code his sense of fate or destiny or something else entirely?

Review, Time Out:

Ed Tom might be our neighbor whilst Chigurh is really more of a symbolic figure. Evil personified and bound by fate!

What is a code anyway? A belief in God? The toss of a coin? Who is to say which is more valid? That depends on the individuals beliefs in the first place. Can morality exist without religion? Ed Tom is a moral character but he is beginning to have doubts. In losing his faith in the existence of God he is also losing faith in there being any guiding principal.

Chigurh has a strong belief and a code he lives by, which to him is just as valid as one tied to the idea of morality, God, or goodness and that is chance—the toss of a coin.

You have commented on the voyeuristic nature of documentaries and the moral dilemmas which accompany that kind of filmmaking; does No Country strike you at all as voyeuristic, perhaps because of the rather graphic violence therein? The two are in no way connected.