The 2010 Adaptation Of Charles Portis’ Novel, True Grit

623 words - 3 pages

“To me if there’s an achievement to lighting and photography in a film, it’s because nothing in the film stands out, it all works as a piece.” (Roger Deakins, cinematographer of True Grit) In the 2010 adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel, True Grit, the directors, Ethan and Joel Coen, and Roger Deakins display the beauty of cinematography within the movie. And although the film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, it did not win any! It most certainly deserves to win based on the film’s use of editing, camera movement and framing, and lighting and sound.
Mattie, Cogburn, and LaBoeuf’s journey through the Choctaw Nation is a long, gruesome one. The scene features a couple of cinematographic techniques that make it very memorable. One of these is editing. The group’s journey takes approximately ten hours, but Deakins uses time lapse cinematography to make it much shorter. The images dissolve into one another with each new image bringing them farther into the Indian Territory. This technique shows the distance the Mattie, Cogburn, and LaBoeuf travel by compressing the time. Another technique Deakins uses within the scene non-diegetic sound. For example, the audience is able to hear the sound of the river streaming and the crunching of leaves and branches under the their horses’ hooves. These calm and soothing sounds sounds of nature show how far away they are from civilization. Although the crew’s trip was significant, the cinematographic techniques of the next scenes made them more emotional.
The night after their journey, Mattie, LaBoeuf, and Cogburn are sitting around the campfire when LaBoeuf and Cogburn begin quarreling. The cinematographer uses techniques such as lighting and sound to enhance the scene. The low key lighting and under lighting illuminates Cogburn’s face when he says “I bow out:. As he says...

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