No Country for Old Men; Analysis

Now that we are starting to look at are actual task, we are starting to look at actual film beginnings for inspiration as well as to further are understanding of the types of camera angles and the affects they have on the viewer.


The Credits for NCFOM are very plain and simple. they are clear to read; the simple white text on the black background is very effective as it goes with the simplistic/ understated and minimalist theme. text is in an old country style text but still holds true to modern conventional style fonts which shows the divide in the film of the changing times from old country western to new town America.


The above is backed up by the voice-over by Tommy Lee-Jones who has a memorable voice that can be easily related to western style movies. the effect of the voice over is that we became instantly attached to Lee-Jones as we actually here his voice before we see any images. this also allows us to focus on what he is saying as it is clearly important hence being our first introduction into the film. in the background of the voice-over you can hear the breeze/wind and deadly silence. this gives us an idea of space and vast emptiness as all that can be heard is nature. if this was set in a town or city it would be expected to hear the busy life`s of others via traffic, voices,etc.


After the establishing shots in quick succession showing the break of day; there is an establishing panning shot of the setting in daylight enabling the viewer to see how vast and desolate the films setting is. The shot then pans to a parked police car on the edge of a road which is bare and goes as far as the eye can see into the horizon. This is a key shot as it shows the theme of the film; policing a vast and baron area.

 Two characters are then introduced, we see their backs as the walk in front of the shot of the car and the road. We know that the police officer is not important as we already know from the voice-over that Lee-Jones is the main police officer and this theory is enhanced by the fact that we do not see the officers face to begin with. The criminal in cuffs on the other hand interests us as he is wearing all black which is commonly associated with bad/evil. Even the man`s hair which is a bowl cut (not conventional hair cut) it dark black. The fact that the next we see of him; he is in the back of the police car in complete darkness and behind the police car`s protective cage highlight to the viewer that this man is going to be a key character.

Zoom is used effectively in the police booking scene as we can see behind the seemingly naive officer the criminal slips his handcuffs to the front of his body and starts moving towards the officer. this is a bit of dramatic irony as we can see what is about to happen which creates tension making this shot a crucial part of the opening scenes. When the criminal is strangling the officer, the camera then zooms in to a close up of the mans handcuffs cutting the officers throat. in this shot we can also see the police officers badge which help us to comprehend the weight of this situation;he criminal is strangling a lone police officer to death in the police station. the camera then switches to a birds eye view shot of the situation and then again zooms into another close up. this time of the killers face and his expression which is blisteringly crazy. this gives the viewer a clear insite into the killers mindset and this is enhanced by the fact that this is the first time we clearly see the killers face in the movie. this is the point we know that he is going to be a potent character.