Most excitement I've had was watching No Country for Old Men the other night. Damn. A very keen flick, indeed. A new addition to my top ten or whatever, ranking up there with Jarmusch flicks like Dead Man and Down By Law. Of course, that it was shot in the desert southwest probably has a lot to do with it, but the Coen brothers – other than rather faithfully adapting the novel to screen, also captured that dingy atmosphere that I find so romantic about that area of the country. All that brown, dry, decaying and death... some bleakness where life still thrives...

Not that anything will materialize - but this movie was a creativly inspirational... still sorting it out, but it sparked something....


I've read more than few “reviews” that lament about the ending; too abrupt, not enough reconciliation of the plot, and all that. I dunno, I dig the ending, I dig that things are left a little unresolved, as far as most of the characters are concerned. But I saw the movie being more about Tommy Lee Jones' character, Sheriff Bell, than it was about the money or predator/prey thing going on. Anyhow, it was cool to see, it's been a while since I've been able to appreciate a movie on so many levels...

One detail in the movie made me jump though – and if you live in or are familiar with Albuquerque (or El Paso,for that matter) – is the scene at the Desert Sands Motel. In the movie, the sign has this label on it “El Paso”, and of course all the vehicles are sporting dusty 1980 license plates. Well, I've not been to El Paso, But I guarantee that the Desert Sands in the movie was not in El Paso – it was in Albuquerque. Better yet, the opening shot of that scene, where they show the sign, is remarkably similar to a shot I took of that same sign – less the El Paso lettering, which is probably why I recognized it at all.

Here's the sign, less the El Paso letters... the bank building in the background, as well as Sandia Peak behind that are both visible in the scene


Here's the motel's parking lot, the “welcome to Albuquerque” sign on top there – is sufficiently darkened down in the movie where Sheriff Bell pulls in to the lot, lights shining on the police tape.




Sign from the other side, there's a Wendy's back there partially obscured by the sign, and I believe a MacDonalds' across the street, which I cropped out when composing my nifty snapshot....


Ah, well, so that's about it with my near brush with greatness. Other scenes from the movie were shot in Las Vegas – New Mexico, and of course, the open range and ranch lands of west Texas.

Here's a link to an interview with the Coens, moderated by none other than Spike Jones, famous Beastie Boy video shooter, and former photographer for Freestylin' Magazine – if you remember such things.
Coen Brothers Interview here

Link to the book: Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men

Like I said, nothing else much going on out here, looking forward to a mini road trip at the beginning of March, and hopefully I'll be bringing a new lens along too.

Thanks for looking!

 

OH, and happy VD, if you're in to that sort of thing...