Monday, July 1, 2013

TODAY'S NUGGET: The Man Who Wasn't There (2001) - Foreshadowing & Unease

[Quick Summary: A barber lies after a man dies, and it all goes to hell, as noir films do.]

This is a good script, but not a favorite.

I did like how it visually foreshadows unease (essential for noir).

ex. "Ed gets into bed next to Doris. He stares at the ceiling. Wind rustles outside.

The shadow of a branch on the ceiling nods in time with the wind.

He looks at Doris....her breathing more peaceful. The leafy shadows play over her face." (p. 38-39)

The shadows over her face are foreboding.

Everything is still for one moment, and Ed is holding his breath.

(And sure enough in the very next scene, the other shoe drops hard.)

WHAT I'VE LEARNED:  Take advantage of a moment of quiet and unease in Scene A.

It will help build tension and contrast when chaos erupts in Scene B.

The Man Who Wasn't There (2001)
by Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

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