There’s a pleasant, old-fashioned feel to Alpha.
Here goes. For the time being, I'm just going to offer up the answers to the Opening Shots Pop Quiz, without further elaboration or analysis in most cases -- because these shots are so great they deserve full Opening Shots treatments of their own. (And you, by the way, are welcome to provide them if you are so inclined!)
1. "Sherlock, Jr." (Buster Keaton, 1924)
OK, let me just say a few words about this one: It's nothing more than a traditional interior establishing shot, lasting only a few seconds before a closer shot succeeds it. We can see it's inside a movie theater, between shows because the house lights are up. There's a pile of trash and a broom leaning against an aisle seat in the back row. And a porkpie hat floats above a book in the hands of... who? Well, the janitor, probably. Only, of course, it turns out to be Buster, and he's also the projectionist. And the book he's reading is about how to become a detective... All the ingredients of this masterpiece of movie-love are present in this one image.
It was clear Cronenberg's film was one of last year's best by the end of this single shot.
4. "The Servant" (Joseph Losey, 1963)
7. "Sunrise" (1927) by F.W. Murnau
8. "North By Northwest" (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
12. "Twin Peaks" (David Lynch, 1990 -- pilot/European feature)
13. "Repulsion" (1965) by Roman Polanski
14. "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" (1972) by R.W. Fassbinder
15. "Rear Window" (1954) by Alfred Hitchcock
16. "Accident" (1967) by Joseph Losey. Note: Both this film and "The Servant," above, were collaborations with screenwriter Harold Pinter.
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