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in Filmmaking
on Mar 13, 2008

Jamie Stuart emailed the following observation about No Country for Old Men after rewatching the film on DVD:

I rented No Country yesterday. I’d read a few complaints on Anne T.’s blog about the scene where Bell goes to the motel room — and Chigurh is supposed to be behind the door (people were complaining that Chigurh seemed to have vanished).

I always thought Chigurh was simply hiding behind the door, since that’s where he’s shown during the initial cross-cutting. But watching the DVD — and even brighting the image all the way — Chigurh IS NOT THERE when the door opens. There’s nobody in that corner. Nor would he even physically fit in that space, especially if he had the bag.

Was this a blooper? Bad direction? Is he a ghost? Is Bell imagining somebody he’s never met? No. It seems to me to be an intellectual exercise at breaking the fourth wall and giving the audience the middle finger. It’s setting the audience up for the confrontation they want, then taking it away. Sort of like Haneke rewinding the shotgun in Funny Games.

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