Opening Shots Project

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Opening Shots: Watchmen

In some editions, the opening shot begins on the cover of "Watchmen": A black oval on a field of yellow with a drop of red liquid splashed on it. ("Bean juice?" "Human bean juice.") The first "shot" proper (comic book,…

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Opening Shots: Shotgun Stories

Through an open doorway we see a man without a shirt sitting on an unmade bed. In his hand is a white piece of paper. On his back is a spattering of circular, scarred-over wounds, like craters of flesh. Both…

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Opening Shots: The Dark Knight

The corporate logos are deep blue and black: Warner Bros., Legendary Pictures, DC Comics. Then, out of a silent explosion of blue flames and black smoke, the familiar Batman shadow appears. Cut to bright afternoon daylight. The camera glides with…

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Opening Shots: Spider-Man 2

From Kris Pigna: "Spider-Man 2" begins with an extreme close-up of a woman's face, a dissolve from the last image of the opening credits. Against a stark white backdrop, she stares right into the camera, deeply, with the kind of…

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Opening Shots: The Producers (1968)

From Raymond Ogilvie: "The Producers," Mel Brooks first film, uses its first shot to break taboo by sexualizing old women. The character Max Bialystock is based on a producer Brooks worked for as a young man. This producer would, like…

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Opening Shots: Le Samourai

From Brandon Colvin, Out 1: View image View image The opening shot of Jean-Pierre Melville’s 1967 noir masterpiece “Le Samouraï” establishes the tone of Melville’s contemplative crime film, defines its amoral protagonist Jef Costello (Alain Delon), and introduces the connections…

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Opening Shots: Silent Light

View image "Stellet Licht," Heilige Licht. From Paul Clark at ScreenGrab.com: Despite the sensational buzz for Carlos Reygadas’ "Silent Light" at Cannes, I approached the film with a bit of trepidation when I got a chance to see it in…

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Opening Shots: Zodiac

View image Opening shot: Above it all. View image Second shot: A street in a neighborhood: Vallejo, CA - July 4, 1969. Music: "Easy to be Hard," from "Hair." It's probably the second shot of David Fincher's "Zodiac" that you…

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Opening Shots: Pan's Labyrinth

So many movies have opening shots that are like overtures, condensed miniatures of the whole film. In Guillermo Del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" you might even say it contains the entire movie in one shot. Not only does it begin with…

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Opening Shots: Brazil

View image From Raymond Ogilvie, happyreflex: This is really the second shot, following a brief bit of above-cloud photography. Let's not be too picky. It starts with a TV set turning on. A suitable enough opening that many films have…