Posts tagged ‘opening scene’

March 21, 2013

50 Best Opening Scenes of All Time

Film.com has put together a wonderful list complete with video clips of the fifty best opening film scenes of all time. This list is Not America-centric, so you’re sure to come across several foreign films you haven’t seen. Look over the clips and Film.com’s review of each and get inspired to write a groundbreaking opening scene of your own.

Here are the top five films on the list:

5.) “Touch of Evil” (Orson Welles) 1958

The nearly wordless opening shot of Orson Welles’ other other *other* masterpiece is arguably more famous than the film it portends, a 200-second tracking shot that begins with an adorably old-fashioned bomb being planted in the trunk of a car, and ends with a bang (and a kiss). A self-contained (but not self-serving) masterpiece of cinematic suspense, the elaborately choreographed tracking shot is made all the more impressive by how firmly it anchors the nihilistic noir that follows. It may not be the cinema’s most impressive long shot anymore (thanks, “Russian Ark”), but it’s still the most perfect (except for that whole Charlton Heston in brownface thing). – DE

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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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