Gravity is a science fiction film that was released October, 4, 2013 that was directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Not long into starting the film, the sense of danger is already imminent. Impending doom soon arrives. The astronauts (played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) are informed of fast moving space debris heading their way as a result of a destroyed Russian satellite. It only takes a couple of moments to affect them, completely overwhelm them, and destroy their shuttle, the only way home. Dr. Stone (Bullock) is caught up in a tangle and as a result of a debris hit, is thrown out into the vastness of space as she continues spinning endlessly. It was very intense. The build-up of the warnings, debris hitting, and the danger we see the astronauts are ultimately faced with makes for both a heart-stopping, breathtaking, opening scene. For the majority of the film, there’s always the question of: Will they get home? Or even, Will they even survive? Space is a vast and uncharted territory where in just a second you may find yourself with the prospect of never getting back home. In Space, you are vulnerable. If anything were to happen, it really isn’t only matter of questioning your ability to survive, but really questioning: do you have the will?
Me and Earl and the Drying Girl is a great film I would like to share with the class. This film was directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and the film is about a high schooler named Grey, he a normal kid who wants to breeze through high school without getting involved in anything. He finds out that a classmate was just diagnosed with cancer. We see him and the classmate experience their last year of high school together and trying to figure out what their future is going to be like. We see…….the sadness in that fleeting moment in our great adventures when it ends and there is no going back.
The opening scene starts with the main character, Grey, monologuing about himself and school. He goes off talking about non-sense. He draws us in by saying he made such a bad film that it killed someone. Then he goes on about how he figured a way through high school by being a part of every group in school. I would say the film’s opening is weak, however 15 minutes in we see that the main character is someone we can relate to, someone who is just trying to get through life and still have a bit fun. However we see in the film that at some point we do need to make an effort in forming bonds with other people and making and effort in trying.
The opening scene to me is not the first 5 minutes of this film but the first 20 minutes of this film. It took 20 minutes to set up the plot and explains what Grey’s life style is like and in the end we see how his life has changed because of the dying girl. It is a really moving film, quite relatable and sad. I hope some of you gives this film a try.
One of my favorite opening scene that I will like to share with the class is from “The Dark Knight”. The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced, and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Featuring the character of the DC Comics character Batman and other. The film is the second part of Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy and starring Christian Bale and the late great Heath Ledger. In the film we see Bale character Batman goes up against the criminal mastermind played by Ledger as the Joker. The reason why I find this opening so compelling is cause it just sets the mood for the rest of the movie and shows the audience what the character the late great heath ledger played is capable of. We see in the first 5 or so minutes a bank Robbery in progress. During this scene we see the robbery talking about the mastermind while trying to complete their job. As the job is finishing up we see them turn on each other so that way their is less money to split. In the end it turns out that the mastermind “The Joker” was actually part of the group of thieves and is the last one standing. Now when I first saw this scene I’m pretty sure I had the same reaction as everyone else which was surprised that he was one of the unknown mask men robbing the bank. The music changes as he reveled that he was not the same as the dead thieves but that he was better then them the true genius not some hire gun.
American Beauty is an award winning film directed by Sam Mendes. It stars Kevin Spacey playing the main character, Lester Burnham, a middle aged father living in a suburban neighborhood and going though a mid life crisis. He grows very bored with his life as he doesn’t portray any enthusiasm. He then starts viewing life differently and goes though some changes.
The opening scene is Spacey’s monologue of Lester speaking to the audience about his life. He introduces himself as well as other aspects of his life that seems pretty typical and in the norm. Although, he goes on to mention the fact that he’s going to be dead in less than a year. This immediately captures the audience’s attention yearning to know why he’s going to be dead. The audience will wonder what events will lead up to his death? What’s the reason for his death? and so on. The music that plays throughout the monologue gives off a mysterious sense. As the music is playing and Spacey is speaking, there’s another layer that’s rather peculiar.
He further describes his mundane everyday life, and introduces other characters including his family. The audiences still ponders how his life goes from here and how it dramatically changes. The music crescendos towards the ending of the monologue. This adds to the buildup to when Lester says,”It’s never too late, to get it back”. That indicates that the viewers will witness how his life dramatically changes for the better, or the worse.
One of the things that the late John Hughes was known for was his films involving adolescence. The majority of us might remember him as being a producer and writer of Home Alone, a movie that is fondly etched into our memory. All throughout the 80’s however he was the major director when came to dealing with teenagers and young adults and no film best supports that opinion than the 1985 classic known as the Breakfast Club. In the Breakfast Club, five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under the eye of their principal. The degenerate group includes Bender, Claire , Allison, Brian and Andrew . Each has a chance to tell their story making the others see them a little differently.
In the clip above, we are introduced to the five major characters and their high school stereotypes. Bender(criminal), Allison(weirdo), Andrew(jock), Brian(nerd), and Claire(Popular Girl) we see Brian, Andrew, and Clair with their parents and we can feel the pressure that each one of these kids have on them to be successful. Also note that the two kids whose parents were not shown, Bender whose parents were not shown altogether and Alison whose parents drop her off without even saying goodbye. Later on in the movie we see how the parents behavior affected their children and how they treat others. What i like about this film so much is how relatable it is. Growing up we all knew people who fit in with certain stereotypes while in high school. Some of us might have even been that stereotype and so to see it on the big screen like this and to have it written as well as it is here just makes it an amazing movie.
As i’ve said in my previous post, I love gory movies (especially Saw), so what’s a better opening scene than the last Saw movie that came out. This is the opening scene to Saw VII, every opening scene to the Saw sequel, the director chooses to start with a trap and somebody ( or some people) trying to escape it. This particular opening scene always fascinates me just because it tells you right away what the movie is going to be about, and the director didn’t even have to spend so much money. Also, it gets straight to the point with action which makes it better for the audience to stay interested from beginning to end. For Saw being a sequel I think the director did an excellent job telling a story that actually connected in all the movies. Every single Saw has to do with the character named Jigsaw who sees potential in people being able to change their ways, so he gives them an opportunity for them to think of what they’ve done wrong and try and change themselves, but of course things come with sacrifices just like the action the people have done which led them to where they are now with 2 choices, to live or die.
Overall, the beginning to Saw VII lets you know that the movie is going to be about people having to make choices and sacrifices. What’s a better way to open such a bloody, gory movie for the seventh time, than to get right to the point?!
Bordwell and Thompson begin chapter 2 in Film Art with a discussion of the importance of opening scenes in movies by contrasting the differences between two Steven Spielberg movies, Jurassic Park (1993) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Bordwell and Thompson describe the start of Jurassic Park as a “hard” opening filled with action that helps build suspense toward an encounter with a T-rex. The beginning of The Matrix is similar to the what Bordwell and Thompson describe as a ‘hard’ opening. According to movie legend the opening sequence of The Matrix was filmed first and cost $10M. Studio executives were so impressed with the opening that they funded the entire project, which in the end cost over $60M.
Share with the class a favorite opening scene by including a link in your post (video.google.com and youtube are good sources for video clips) and discuss why you find the opening so compelling. If you can’t find a clip and want to discuss a film anyway, include a link or an image to the movie.
To complete this homework assignment, you need to submit your own Post AND Comment on another student’s post (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).
To students submitting a Post, please check off the category Student Post and please tag your posts (i.e., add the name of the movie as your tag)! In order to post, you have to be a member of the class, simply click “Join” on the Class Profile to become a member. If you’re unsure how to submit a post, follow the instructions under Blogging Guidelines and/or contact me!
Homework #2 is DUE MIDNIGHT on THURSDAY March 3rd.
As a follow-up to our first week, please tell your classmates a little about yourself and your interest in cinema. Have you ever taken a class about film history? What type of movies do you like? And how do you like to screen movies? From home? in movie theaters? on a large screen or on computer screens? Share your thoughts with your classmates by replying to this post. Click on “Leave A Comment” for this post and then submit your response. In addition, please register for an OpenLab account by next week. Please complete your Introductions BEFORE class on Tuesday February 23rd.
Who is Inigo Montoya? Found out here!
Hello ARTH 1112 Students! This spring we will be looking at a broad range of films and we start from the very beginning with photography and the era of silent pictures. Below is link to important silent films for cinema history. We will study many of these films in class. Take a peek at the list and explore our class website as I continue to build it over the week. This OpenLab site is our primary class website. We will use Blackboard to access grades and to submit papers via SafeAssign. More details about our OpenLab and Blackboard usage will be provided in class.