Joe Asturias Intro to Film Paper 2 No Country for Old Men In 2008, Joel and Ethan Coen won eight awards from various film associations in categories for Editing and Cinematography and were also nominated for the Academy Award “Best Achievement in Cinematography”. All of these awards were for the film No Country for Old Men . There are many scenes where the use of the elements of cinematography and editing really stand out in this film. To make this more simple to understand I will break down one scene from No Country for Old Men into three parts, as well as pick out one specific sequence of shots, to show how the elements of cinematography and editing influence the overall presentation of this movie. The scene begins with Llewelyn purchasing a gun from a store. At this point all the shots are eye-level with Llewelyn. This causes the viewer to identify and associate a neutral attitude towards his character. The lighting in this shot is high-key, and there are almost no shadows. In the next shot Llewelyn is back in his motel room modifying his gun. This is represented by five consecutive extreme close ups of him sawing off the tip, sanding the inside of the barrel, duct taping the handle, loading the gun, and then putting the gun in his bag. Each of the five shots is about 4 seconds long which creates a constant fast rhythm and provides a feeling that he is in a hurry. A match cut occurs between each of the extreme close ups causing a sense of continuity between the shots. Each shot also stays true to the rule of thirds, as the action in every shot in this sequence is off centered to a third of the total frame. The purpose of these shots is apply emphasis on the gun and the modifications he is making to it. The lighting used here is now low-key and there are many deep shadows. The left half of Llewelyn’s face is shaded which causes more of an
uneasy feeling about what he is going to do with his gun and raises questions about his judgments. To complement this feeling, the next shot is taken at a low angle looking up at Llewelyn, instead of at eye-level like before, as he goes through his bag.
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- Fall '08
- Film techniques, Low-key lighting, Close-up, Angle of view