October 15, 2007 Bonus Bonus Blog
Looking forward to seeing a media screening of No Country For Old Men in two weeks. Here's the synopsis of the Coen brothers film:
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is a mesmerizing new thriller from Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the acclaimed novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning American master, Cormac McCarthy. The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. Featuring a cast that includes Academy Award®-winner Tommy Lee Jones (“The Fugitive,” “Men in Black”), Josh Brolin (“Grindhouse”), Academy Award®-nominee Javier Bardem (“The Sea Inside”), Academy Award®-nominee Woody Harrelson (“The People Vs. Larry Flynt”) and Kelly Macdonald (“Trainspotting”), NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN is written for the screen and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, and executive produced by Robert Graf and Mark Roybal.
The story begins when Llewelyn Moss (BROLIN) finds a pickup truck surrounded by a sentry of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law –in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell (JONES) – can contain. As Moss tries to evade his pursuers – in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives (BARDEM) – the film simultaneously strips down the American crime drama and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible, and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines.
And here's the poster. Sweet, eh?
Meet The Top Secret Project's MacGuffin
A MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or Maguffin) is a plot device that motivates the characters and/or advances the story, but has little other relevance to the story.
The director and producer Alfred Hitchcock popularized both the term "MacGuffin" and the technique. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Hitchcock explained the term in a 1939 lecture at Columbia University: "[We] have a name in the studio, and we call it the 'MacGuffin.' It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story. In crook stories it is most always the necklace and in spy stories it is most always the papers."
There are a couple things to notice about this MacGuffin. Note the time on the watch (lower left), and note the back of the watch (two lambs, one lying down). These clues will point directly towards the climax. Kind of exciting. I sketched these off of three photos that came from a museum in Texas who has Glenn Reynold's MacGuffin, I mean watch.
I'm still a long way from the goal line on the project, but I try to take a whack at it every day. Gee, I wonder if Goethe has anything to say on this subject?
"Self-knowledge is best learned, not by contemplation, but by action. Strive to do your duty and you will soon discover of what stuff you are made."
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