(See uncomprehending original-release reviews of "Barry Lyndon" and "Days of Heaven," for example, in which the "beautiful" was treated as something discrete from the movie itself.) When somebody claims that a movie overemphasizes the "visual" -- whether they're talking about Stanley Kubrick or Terrence Malick or the Coens -- it's a sure sign that they're not talking about cinema, but approaching film as an elementary school audio-visual aid.
When critics (and viewers) refer to the filmmakers' application of "craft," "technique," and "style" (can these things be applied, casually or relentlessly, with a spatula?
The author did a great job of creating a character that is hard to figure out.
There is not much said about Chigurh within the novel.
Some of the old-time sheriffs never even wore a gun. You can't help but compare yourself against the old timers. The establishment of this location -- a passing-through stretch of time and space, between where you've been and where you're going, wherever that may be -- seeps into your awareness.
(Do these images look sterile or "technical" to you? Each image builds subtly on the one(s) before it, adding incrementally to our picture of the territory we're entering.He is a unique character that I have never encountered before.In the novel, No Country for Old Men, Chigurh’s thoughts, words, actions and habits lead to the formation of his character, a character of violence and villainy.At the end of this conversation, Chigurh kills Wells. I was sheriff of this county when I was twenty-five. Joel and Ethan Coen have been praised and condemned for their expert "craftsmanship" and their "technical" skills -- as if those skills had nothing to do with filmmaking style, or artistry; as if they existed apart from the movie itself.The struggle is recorded on the institutional linoleum tiles, a frenzy of black heel marks like an Abstract-Expressionist painting.Man's violence always leaves its traces on the ground.As the two fall back onto the linoleum floor, the shock of the moment is amplified by the expression on Chigurh's face: His icy glare is aimed not at the man he's strangling but at the ceiling.He's not even looking at the man he's killing, even as the handcuffs cut into the deputy's neck and Chigurh's own wrists.You can say it's my job to fight it but I don't know what it is anymore. "OK, I'll be part of this world." Those words, the end of Sheriff Bell's introduction, resonate throughout the movie -- a world in which one's life or death may be determined by a coin toss (a mix of luck and chance and, perhaps, fate), and where one's soul is at hazard by choosing to engage with it. And it doesn't matter whether they were looking for them or trying to evade them. I've used the term "existential thriller" (and/or "epistemological thriller") to describe movies such as "Chinatown" and "Caché." It's a useful term because it can be used across genres and it describes the nature of the "thrills" the movie has in store."Chinatown" is also a period American detective noir and "Caché" is a modern French intellectual puzzle and "No Country for Old Men" is a contemporary Texas Western chase movie, but they're all inquiries into the nature of knowledge and existence. At the station, a deputy is on the phone, describing the mysterious "oxygen tank" thing his arrestee was toting.