Homework #2: Opening Scenes-Jurassic Park to Close Encounters with Katy Perry?

T-rex stops traffic in Jurassic Park (1993)
T-rex stops traffic in Jurassic Park (1993)

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). Watch the opening scene for Jurassic Park and note how this is what Bordwell and Thompson describe as a “hard” opening filled with action that helps build suspense toward an encounter with a T-rex. You can access the Jurassic Park opening scene here. I couldn’t find the opening scene of Close Encounters online but if you know the movie, you would’ve recognized the reference in the Pepsi lead-in to Katy Perry’s Halftime Show for last week’s Superbowl. Here’s a link to the Richard Dreyfuss character Roy’s first encounter with aliens and note Pepsi’s allusion to this classic sci-fi movie.

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, note whether you Post or Comment. For Homework #2, Diamonds and Spades will submit a Post and Clubs and Hearts will Comment (choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on).

To students submitting a Post, make sure you Check off the Category “Student Posts” to get credit for the Homework Assignment and 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!

To students submitting a Comment, choose any of your classmates’ posts to comment on. Watch the clip in their post and tell the class what you think are its strengths/weaknesses.

Homework #2 is DUE by Tuesday February 17th.
Don’t forget Diamonds and Spades Post, Clubs and Hearts Comment, note your blog group! Email me if you forget.

Fun Fact: We will study the French New Wave director François Truffaut who appears as a scientist/UFO-expert in Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

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