Opening Shots Project

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Opening Shots: 'Man Push Cart'

A cacophonous industrial noise fills the darkness, illuminated by what seems to be some kind of flashing safety light behind a divider of scuffed, semi-opaque plastic strips. They ripple and part and a man appears -- his legs in tattered…

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Opening Shots: 'The Wire'

View image This summer a friend is introducing me to the HBO series, "The Wire," beginning with the first season on DVD. Sunday nights, we eat a big ol' fresh-grilled meal (like steak, ribs, kabobs, pork loin, salmon, scallops wrapped…

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Opening Shots: 'Ghost World'

From Robb Hamilton, Seattle, WA: A few weeks ago I took my kids to see "Cars" at a theater off Aurora Avenue in Seattle. Aurora would be a perfect setting for a Clowes/Zwigoff picture: seedy motels, diners, people waiting for…

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Opening Shots: 'Cutter's Way'

From Robert Horton, film critic, The Herald, Everett, WA: How technical do you want to get about "opening shot"? Is the opening shot literally the very first thing that appears onscreen? Or is it the first shot proper, the thing…

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Opening Shots: 'La Femme Infidel'

View image A fairy-tale home in a wooded setting. Two women sit an an outdoor table in the shade of some tall trees. The camera glides across the lawn silently (we can't hear what they're saying, just barely audible laughter)…

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Opening Shots: 'The Rapture'

From Nathaniel Soltesz, Pittsburgh, PA: One of my favorite opening shots is from Michael Tolkin's "The Rapture." First, a black screen, menacing ambient music, vague noises of typing, people speaking. The camera rises and we realize we're looking at the…

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Opening Shots: 'Yojimbo'

In the spirit of "Rashomon," two views of the opening shot of another Akira Kurosawa picture: From Or Shkolnik, Israel: We see a beautiful mountain landscape, a dramatic music starts playing while the name of the movie appears in big…

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Opening Shots: 'Femme Fatale'

From Dennis Cozzalio, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule: Brian De Palma’s exceedingly stimulating and sensational consideration of femme fatale iconography and the possibility of redemption within it begins with one of the director’s customarily brilliant, multilayered opening shots.…

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Opening Shots: 'Juggernaut'

From Richard T. Jameson, Editor, Movietone News, 1971-81; Editor, Film Comment, 1990-2000: The opening credits of Richard Lester's "Juggernaut" (1974) play over a neutral backdrop that can just barely be detected as an undefined image rather than a simple blank…

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Opening Shots: 'Annie Hall'

Alvy Singer speaks. From Hiram M: If a movie's opening shot provides the compass with which to navigate the ensuing film, then this simple set up needs commending. Unexpected, efficient, and funny from frame one (relying as it does on…