In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb fahrenheit eleven nine

Fahrenheit 11/9

The messiness of Moore’s film starts to feel appropriate for the times we’re in. With a new issue being debated every day, is it any…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Opening Shots: Shotgun Stories

ssos1.jpg

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 membranes have stories inscribed on them. We just don't know what they are yet. Maybe we'll find out. Maybe we won't. The man, Son Hayes (Academy Award-nominee Michael Shannon), reads the unfolded note, nods in acknowledgement, and looks up, as if to face himself in an off-screen mirror.

ssos2.jpg

There's nothing showy or spectacular about the first image of Jeff Nichols' "Shotgun Stories" (one of my ten "best favorite" movies of 2008), but it's a grabber nonetheless. The shot actually continues after an inter-title: The man tosses the note on the night table, stands, and moves to the dresser. He pulls a shirt out of a top drawer, then pauses and opens another one. Cut: Empty. He opens the next. Also empty. The one below it: Empty too. He turns his back to us and we see the welts on his back straight-on. Title: "Shotgun Stories." Quietly, effortlessly, we're caught up in the storytelling in a matter of seconds...

Advertisement

Popular Blog Posts

"You Were Expecting Someone Else?" Why a Non-White James Bond is the Franchise's Logical Next Step

Not only would Idris Elba make a great James Bond, the franchise has been building towards casting an actor of color ...

Video games can never be art

Having once made the statement above, I have declined all opportunities to ...

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Stop watching movies made by assholes. It'll be OK.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus