They Had You at “Hello”

At Scanners, Jim Emerson is running a series on the opening shots of movies. In his introduction, Emerson writes:

“Any good movie — heck, even the occasional bad one — teaches you how to watch it. And that lesson usually starts with the very first image. ...

The opening shot (or opening sequence) is the most important part of the movie ... at least until you get to the final shot. (And in good movies, the two are often related.)”

So far, the project includes two quizzes along with commentaries on the opening shots of everything from His Girl Friday to Miller’s Crossing to The Crying Game to Halloween (below).

From the opening shot of 'Halloween'

While these short essays (some by Emerson, but mostly submitted by readers and other critics) are about individual movies, they collectively represent a short course in watching film seriously.

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Recent Comments

  • I think your interpretation is right, and hinted at in the script: “When the sunshine don’t work, the Good Lord bring the rain in.”
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  • A wonderful list! And it feels all the more awesome because I can confidently say I’ve watched the first 8 movies with my daughter (barring...
  • It doesn’t matter that you don’t buy it, Solondz wasn’t selling it in the first place. Fuck meeting the audience halfway. There’s nothing wrong with...
  • Awesome analysis, one of the best i have read yet.