Posts tagged ‘Movieline’

April 9, 2011

5 Lessons from the Work of Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet, director of such masterpieces as 12 Angry Men, Network, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Verdict passed away this weekend. S.T. Vanairsdale was quick to report on the life lessons we can all learn from his work:

1. First impressions are everything
Contemporary filmmakers could learn a lot from Lumet’s openings, the most expressive of which feature long, gradual shots working from the outside in. Sometimes this is literal; take 12 Angry Men, which marvelously sets up the entire narrative in about seven shots — a courthouse exterior to a young murder defendant’s close-up — before getting to the opening credits. The effect compels viewers to digest the stakes while entering the deliberation room with the jurors. Subtle stuff, but utterly standard-defying for its time.

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