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Opening Sequence from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

by The Cine-Files

While the soundtrack is often conceived of as enhancing the realism of a film narrative, in No Country, the sound and image tracks clash in several places. Silverman argues that “Insofar as the voice-over asserts its independence from the visual track, it presents itself as enunciator. It seems, in other words, to be a metafictional voice, the point of discursive origin,” and No Country at first seems to follow this aesthetic. Bell’s voice-over narration begins on a black screen, before images fade in; as he speaks, the first few images depict extreme long shots of the landscape at daybreak which then proceeds through the early morning hours. In one shot, the sun literally rises over a distant mountain top. Bell’s voice is calm, authoritative, and absorbing as he reflects upon what it means to be a third-generation sheriff. This initial appearance of authority and power, however, is undercut in several ways as the film continues.

-Laura Beadling

The complete text of Laura Beadling's piece can be found in the current issue of The Cine-Files at

Opening Sequence from NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN

The voice over in the opening sequence of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN initially appears to reaffirm an aesthetic of establishing authority and power through narration.

from No Country For Old Men (2007)
Creator: Ethan and Joel Coen
Posted by The Cine-Files