Watch: The First & Final Frames Side-by-Side - What Can We Learn?
Filmmakers are very crafty storytellers. The best ones know how to use the visual medium known as cinema to not only tell a story, but make us feel emotions of all kinds, and empathize with characters and people we have never met before. Filmmakers are also adept enough to link themes and patterns in the story through visual cues. In this video essay from Jacob T. Swinney titled First and Final Frames, he shows us how important the opening and closing shots are in every movie. At first you may think they have no connection, but it'll really hit you when you see the Gone Girl moment and it builds from there. This montage of over 50 films, showing the opening/closing shots side-by-side, also features the music "Any Other Name" by Thomas Newman from the American Beauty soundtrack. It's much more mesmerizing than I was expecting.
Thanks to @markdearman on Twitter for the tip. Full introduction by Jacob T. Swinney from Vimeo: What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film? This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different--both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film. You can find the full list of films in the Vimeo description. Some of my favorite shots in this: Black Swan, Dr. Strangelove, The Master, Gone Girl, Children of Men, Melancholia, Boyhood and There Will Be Blood. As usual, after watching this footage all I want to do is spend this weekend watching all of these films again. Your favorites?