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No Country for Old Men — Don't Underestimate the Audience

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Get your first two months of Skillshare for free: http://skl.sh/lfts6 Support LFTS: http://patreon.com/LFTScreenplay Like LFTS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lessonsfromthescreenplay/ Follow me at: http://twitter.com/michaeltuckerla No Country For Old Men is a film that challenges the audience in the best possible way. It never condescends and refuses to spell things out—instead compelling us to connect the dots and participate in the storytelling. This video examines some of the ways it achieves this. Produced by: Michael Tucker (http://twitter.com/michaeltuckerla) Written by: Brian Bitner (http://twitter.com/BrianBitner) Andrew Stanton TED Talk: https://youtu.be/KxDwieKpawg Coen Brothers Interview: http://www.ign.com/articles/2007/11/09/interview-joel-and-ethan-coen Check out my kit, from screenwriting books to gear: https://kit.com/LFTS/screenwriting-books LFTS Recommended Reading List: https://www.lessonsfromthescreenplay.com/reading-list/ Translate this video: http://www.youtube.com/timedtext_video?v=KADoPXknQCI&ref=share Thanks to Diego Rojas for composing original music for this video and this channel! Check out more of his work: https://soundcloud.com/diegorojasguitar TwinSmart's Marxist Arrow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/ With the company Twin musicom licensed under the Creative Commons license Attribution (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/
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Text Comments (2027)
What’s your favorite Coen Brothers film? And what movie should we look at in a future video?
Moneybags Hastings (5 days ago)
The Big Lebowski, and then Fargo.
No channel Musician (21 days ago)
My favorite Coen brothers movie is O Brother Where Art Thou? and I think it’d be cool to look into The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
Marc Padilla (2 months ago)
This and Big Lebowsky. Oh brother where are thou is good too.Brilliant story tellers.
Patrick Carrott (2 months ago)
Fargo
t mac (2 months ago)
Raising Arizona, lebowski.
Diane Berg (2 hours ago)
The movie summed up: “damned kids these days.”
Levi Poush (4 days ago)
I think that the point of the movie is to get you to think, and I think that that is really important. But also it has a message I think, the point is that everything is meaningless and no matter what you try to do, you will, in the end, die, it all ends the same. Is Chigur death? Is he a man? I think he is a bit of both because even for him there are forces outside of his control that act upon him. It challenges everything that you are supposed to believe, and that makes you think, and the conclusion is it is all random, nothing matters, it is all the same, it is all pointless. It is no country for old men because the old man is trying to deal with the world according to his system, but everything is always changing and before you know it the system is nothing like what you thought it was, and you are left behind. Even if you live you feel useless and life is empty, no matter what happens you lose, everyone loses.
Juno X (8 days ago)
9:13 That's a very impressive link. My mind is in flames.
Vaclav Haval (10 days ago)
Betty Crocker discovered in the 1950s that customers weren't buying their instant cake mixes because they didn't want everything done for them. So, BC had customers add their own egg and sales shot up. Making your audience piece your story together is a similar concept.
Elliott Ryan (11 days ago)
The whole video was great but the way he plugged skillshare at the end... unreal!
t s ó l a r i a (11 days ago)
Patterns, and how a disturbance in those patterns gives you information
t s ó l a r i a (11 days ago)
So that's what I was missing when I tried to write a scene of everyday life. Everything the character does has got to tell you something about them. In hindsight, duh. But this was important for me to realize.
Mariam Ratlamwala (12 days ago)
people would think this is boring he makes it so exciting
Red Dead (12 days ago)
If only Andrew listened to him when making John Carter for $250 million.
new funky mode (13 days ago)
no country is the dark souls of film
Andrew Jackson (13 days ago)
Only good thing the Hitman. But still boring want to be modern cowboy movie that is just shit.
Gian Dela Cruz (16 days ago)
I honestly didnt catch that boot scene. Guess im too dumb for this movie
Zinc Chameleon (17 days ago)
Agreed. The writer has set it up that our protagonist doesn't need all that drug money; he's a gun specialist, and all the brand-new shotguns and automatic pistols he retrieved from the shoot-out site would have paid his bills (only 18,000$ US.) by moving them on the black market. But no....he had to taste the forbidden fruit.
Lester Freeman (18 days ago)
I loved the 2+2 theory about STORYTELLING, and i think is it the same as the ICEBERG THEORY from Hemingway, the point is to omit certain information and elements from an scene or story to let the audience imagine or interpret it i mean its just a way to give gravitas and strenght the material. Do you agree?
scott faust (21 days ago)
It makes me SO sad that he didn’t put his boots up on the bed rather than checking his boots outside. That cut would have been great.
Relbl (21 days ago)
Meh, the only thing I thought was incredible about this movie was that the little Texas fillie that was trailer with the lead is actually a Scottish actress with a heavy drogue... I would NEVER have guessed in a million years! This one and 'There Will Be Blood'... I just don't see why people think they are so amazing. They are decent flicks but hardly legendary
Cranky Conservative (21 days ago)
I remember thinking this dude is clearly a bad mother fucker he clearly was involved with something and I thought it was weird but then we says he was in nam that was the first time I realized it was set in the 80s.
Adriano Martins (21 days ago)
Thank you for helping me to be a better screenwriter.
Krumpulous (22 days ago)
This opens my eyes up to all Coen Bros' films incredibly! Thank you!
Katelynn Householder (26 days ago)
Man let me tell you, your channel is teaching me so much about film that I had previously been lacking and if I ever become an actor it’s because I meticulously studied your videos
ಠ_ಠ (27 days ago)
Chigurh first version of Terminator
Anuraj (1 month ago)
one of the best movie i have seen
Brandon (1 month ago)
I absolutely LOVED this movie
E F (1 month ago)
Very eloquent and efficient way to describe the storytelling elements of this movie. What a refreshing video; great job!
pavanatanaya (1 month ago)
It's a chase movie
Lucas Xavier (1 month ago)
best video on youtube. end
cxa011500 (1 month ago)
I felt like the movie was pretty pointless. There was no real protagonist to follow or care about.
Estebahn Randolph (1 month ago)
The Vietnam Vet get his ass killed in the end .
Peyton Bell (1 month ago)
Anton is 1 of the scariest villains ever.
thelocustemperor (1 month ago)
Dude have you watched that mini documentary thing that Josh Brolin did about filming it, apparently the Coen Bros are not nice people...
Steve Shapker (1 month ago)
Most people are brain dead sheep, which is why the conventional viewer doesn't appreciate movies like this.
As a screenwriter i must say this movie is completely overestimated and over analysed. As a filmviewer I must say it sucks so bad.
Robert Powers (1 month ago)
I appreciate movies that force viewers to not be staring at thier phone while they watch it
Maxyshadow (1 month ago)
Great vid thanks! Subbed. In fact most informative movie review video I've seen on You Tube.
tidy pog (1 month ago)
only moral if there is one and i;m not convinced, is that youre going to die just the way you live
Leandro Machado (1 month ago)
I had goosebumps listening to your voice over some scenes now that’s a powerful movie that indeed connects with the viewers
Leandro Machado (1 month ago)
Thank you for this analysis man , stunning I loved how you put it all together, to me is one of the finest masterpiece together with Pulp fiction .... this movie everyone that I know told me that this movie blew they mind , it’s definitely one for the motion picture history! I love everything about it the trucks the clothes the style the scenes the location the actors choice were spotless Genius chosen, and everything I love Texas culture so much it blew my mind , it’s a movie to watch all the time and it only gets better as you watch it just like Pulp fiction. Thank from Australia 🇦🇺
Andrew Reeves (1 month ago)
That movie and book are 5/5 stars, damn near perfect; great video editing/analysis, thank you!
Peter Jongsma (1 month ago)
Cormac McCarthy writes bleak books. You helped me see the movie with new eyes.
Geronimo agarraspito (1 month ago)
A master piece , best movie ever.
Jerk Mehoff (1 month ago)
I loved the soundtrack especially.
Nessie Andrew (1 month ago)
When I watched this I didn't recognize Moss, I thought that was just a random guy. I didn't realize he had died until near the end. Had to rewind to see if it was really him.
Nessie Andrew (1 month ago)
What a weird, weird movie.
Nightmare Batman (1 month ago)
Your voice does not at all match what u thought you’d look like. Great video. I almost didn’t see this in the theater. My friend kept telling me it was great. I was riding the high I had from there will be blood. Another of my all time faves. Finally sat down in a show to see it and my god, I felt so ignorant for waiting so long. One of my all time favorite films. Nothing wrong with it at all. Just great from start to finish. Gripping, suspenseful, and just all around entertaining from start to finish. I love a good slow paced movie. But it never once seemed slow. Sadly after this we got true grit and ever since that, the cohens just seemed to have lost it
Matt Maloney (1 month ago)
I have to say, I didn't like this film when I saw it first. I'm thinking I probably have to watch it again
Shail k (1 month ago)
Even the GODS love this movie.
SoundCzech (1 month ago)
this movie has some of the most gripping suspense I had ever sat through.
shinobody (1 month ago)
This concept reminds me of a common comics technique called 'closure' - where rather than showing every single action in the story, panel by panel, you can imply a lot by contrasting two different panels, implying what happened between them. Of course, that's probably easier to do in comics, due to the very nature of the medium (i.e. you can hide a lot of detail in static illustrations for careful reader to notice, etc).
david charles (1 month ago)
I hate to say it, but I think upon giving the film a second look I find myself a little bothered by Tommy Lee Jones' character.  I know he cares - yet there does appear at times to be a "don't give a shit" attitude.  This is revealed most of all when he decides to sit down and have a glass of milk instead of pursuing the murderer.  I found myself wondering if he even bothered to talk to the apartment manager who could have given him an excellent description of Chigur.  I suppose this is part of what is meant by the title - this is no country for someone like Tommy Lee because he's been beaten down and no longer cares the way he once did.
Mike Smith (1 month ago)
Regarding what he says about the film respecting the audience and making them connect the dots: this is very much in keeping with the book, which makes the reader do most of the heavy lifting. There's little-to-no narrative exposition, interior dialogue of the characters, or explanations of anything... instead Cormac McCarthy simply tells you what's happening in the moment, and leaves you to connect the dots. It's a prime example of "show, don't tell".
Keith Dickinson (1 month ago)
Very interesting. Thanks for that.
Cliff Hanger (1 month ago)
I feel so smart thanks to these videos...
Buddy Mckay (1 month ago)
6:12 = I have no idea why I keep cracking up over this scene!
J C A (1 month ago)
*No words for a great video*
Ninja Crumb (2 months ago)
Not that it is important, but you got one of the less than 7 thumbs up that I have given since my years on Youtube (plus a sub!!)  I absolutely love this movie, and your context just awakened thrills inside of myself that I was not aware of due to being enthralled by the dozen times I have seen it.  Excellent job!!
Marc Padilla (2 months ago)
Texans are not hicks.
Patrick Carrott (2 months ago)
I love and have watched this film many times. Thankyou for this deeper insight.
Ezra Marsh (2 months ago)
This film has another essential element. It has a bad guy whom you learn to hate with a feral passion.
alexandre do (2 months ago)
No Country For Old Men is like a snubbed masterpiece. Anytime someone would ask me what is my favourite film I would name this one. Then they would proceed to tell me how so and so movie is way better. It's a genre film that plays with the tropes so well you can just rewatch it over and over.
vesocsm (2 months ago)
the days 10-11 years ago when we got "No country for old men" and "There will be blood" at the same time, compared to today...
Tấn Thành (2 months ago)
i actually didn't like the film, but not now
lbarberiscanoni (2 months ago)
I think this pattern of taking a screenplay theory (2+2 in this case) and seeing how it applies to the movie is really good. Not saying you should make every video like this, but I think you could make a whole playlist explaining screenwriting theories (alternative to the mono-myth for example) through specific movies
TheBack40 (2 months ago)
Amazing video. Your insight is extremely thoughtful and illuminating. I never noticed the parted curtains or how Chirrguh checking his boots after his confrontation with Carla Jean confirms he did, in fact, kill her. I'm looking forward to watching your other videos.
Ananth Agastya (2 months ago)
Can you do one for "there will be blood"? It was released the same year as this great movie...both movies were filmed in the same location, too. :)
Alex H (2 months ago)
Literally the closest to perfect movie of all time
Perry Robles (2 months ago)
And now that I am on the subject of movies. This MASTERPIECE is a fine example on how to write dialogue. Most movies i see today leave this thought in my mind. “Who wrote this script? It sucks.” Characters don’t have to be superhuman to relate. They don’t have to be Harvard graduates. Do ‘t speak in stilted language. Nope this script uses Middle English. Further, it uses the correct language register for the characters. It works because we, everyone in The US, can understand them. Perfect example on how to write a script, bitches! LOl. LOved your movie.
Perry Robles (2 months ago)
Another notable, the actor who payed Anton also starred in a James Bond movie, right? In that movie, I think, he was Spanish, tormented, and above else transformed into a monster by revenge against his employers. In No country: Make no mistake. He’s. Psychopath. No bargaining. No pity. Just work. You were born for this craft because i believe you.
Perry Robles (2 months ago)
Movie dissection for future: GRIFTERS. It is the only movie. ONLY MOVIE I have ever watched that was TRUE to the book. It didn’t lessen the book for me. It accentuated it because all of the actors in that movie were flesh and blood people. Not actors. But i digress. GRIFTERS: Was awesomeness because the characters weren’t switched up. Man character in the book. Was man character in movie. Director. Producer. Actors. You guys/gals did what every movie/film maker should do. Stay true to the work. Muy Bueno!
Perry Robles (2 months ago)
All who COLLABORATED on this film... Super-Awesome job. Comparable, only in awesomeness, not in subject, to SENSE 8.
Iamwatchinit (2 months ago)
Love this movie - great video you made! I also love how there is no music in the whole movie (except for one scene I think) but there is so much tension build up just by the acting by the three main characters.
Jesse Wright (2 months ago)
All of the 2+2 stuff is great, but it doesn't change the fact that this isn't a very good movie. The main issue is that the story isn't even remotely believable. It starts with Buster Brown and his air hammer and goes downhill from there.
Leon Kennedy (2 months ago)
I always felt the people who hated Lost and/or misunderstood the ending were the type who couldn't add 2 and 2 together. They had to be spoon fed answers, when all the answers to 99% of the mysteries are right there upon multiple viewings, or were never crucial to the main story and can be chalked up to the weirdness of the Island. Probably the same people who hate this movie.
Danielle Adonis (2 months ago)
such flawless segue of the ad tho
t mac (2 months ago)
Good shit brah.
Michael-Dwyer Dorrington (2 months ago)
There is sooo much rubbish on Youtube......and then there is this!!! Nice to come upon something that has you grappling for the subscribe button :)
Charles Boulet (2 months ago)
Great commentary. Thank-you.
Ken Potter (2 months ago)
"The Coen Brothers" is the new "Stanley Kubrick"
Bcha Sjt (2 months ago)
I will never delete this film from my folder.
Steve Wirtes (2 months ago)
I love your videos dogg!!! I can’t afford to patrion for you but please keep going!!!!
Michael Chesny (2 months ago)
Thanks for your observations.
Dylan Lepore (2 months ago)
This was really great. You brought a lot to my attention that I never thought of when watching this movie, and I've seen it several times!
Fapologist (2 months ago)
If you ask me Llewelyn isn't really the protagonist he seems more like a neutral than a purely protagonist type, I feel like the sheriff is the true protagonist despite the internal struggle he has with the changing word and the violence he's faced with.
Film Nobs (2 months ago)
I probably have watched "No Country For Old Men," six or seven times. The scene at the gas station with the coin flip is one of my favorite scenes ever. Chigurh says something very odd to the attendant, "Don't put it in your pocket sir. It's your lucky quarter." The fact that he calls him, "sir," makes this scene so chilling to me. It's unsettling that Chigurh could be so polite, when we know what he is capable of doing. And the poor attendant, he never fully realizes the true value of the quarter. It's an unnerving juxtaposition. There always seems to be something new to discover in this film. Keep up the great work, really enjoy your movie analysis! This video makes me want to go back and watch the movie again!
Maja (2 months ago)
what i think is the most important scene from the movie is when Chigurgh gets hit by a car while he has a green light. It shows that no matter what our motivations or history are what happens to us is truly random and we have no control over misfortune.
aluisious (2 months ago)
Showing us the characters through action is not "2+2 theory." It's show, don't tell, which is something that's taught to children. Don't try to make something more novel than it is.
Tom Shore (2 months ago)
This is one film that I say is brilliant up until the point Moss is killed offscreen. Sure, it may have been the point of the movie to subvert expectations like this, but for me the film was engaging and building to a climax that fell apart with the sudden death of Moss. The film then just slowly crumbled into banal navelgazing as far as I was concerned.
Ryan Steinle (2 months ago)
Excellent video!
Never heard the ending described like that before. Dreaming of a simpler time.... and then I woke up. Genius. But I always thought of it as Bell accepting his inevitable death.
Dan (3 months ago)
I don't think they really broke from convention. The idea that characters need to be shallow and plots spoon fed to audiences is just Hollywood. There are tons of other genres that have been writing actual stories for a very long time. Art house, sci-fi, etc.
Lorenzo Morgan Jr. (3 months ago)
In regard to the great writing and filmmaking, the anticipation of the eventual encounter with Sheriff Bell and Anton kept my attention towards the latter half of the movie. To my film-viewer dismay, that never happened (very good filmmaking).
S Dance (3 months ago)
Never noticed the gap in the curtain! I always thought it was because he saw the dusty truck in the car park. Great video; fascinating!
The Shocker (3 months ago)
One of the Coens misses. Boring with too much mumbled dialog. Also, that suppressed shotgun is pure fantasy...at least that tubular standard baffle stack suppressor.
Austin Lavista (3 months ago)
One of most emotionally heavy movies of all time.
Tommy O Donovan (3 months ago)
It was a great movie....although I thought it was ultimately flawed. The Cohen's couldn't wrap it up....But I'm old and my mind wanders.
You made this film seem twice as good to me as it did before. I already liked it, but so many of the details mentioned in the video went past me when I saw the film.
30 And Hating It (3 months ago)
Loved the movie until the ending. Totally anti-climactic let down. All that time and energy leading up to the big confrontation and then, fluff, one of them gets taken out by some random prick? I remember people groaning in the theater, it totally let the air out of the place. I gave it another watch through with the same result at home, awesome movie, big lead-up, no money shot. It's like... I love you, but you gave me blueballs.
Imagon Nasah (3 months ago)
Wait wait wait wait wait,I'll pause right here and now.I've got a feeling its best I watch the movie first.
Joaquin Cuquejo (3 months ago)
The Coen brothers looks like Walter White
Aaryan Ali (3 months ago)
bruh i missed half of the plot because of this. i was lost the whole time
MickyAvStickyHands (3 months ago)
Last era of decent major film releases where the only good films in the theaters weren't Super Hero, Animated or Hollywood political propaganda.

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