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~ Blowing Up Noir

The opening shot of Touch Of Evil couldn't be more to the point. It's an incredible three minute and twenty second tracking shot on a crane, where the picture opens with a close-up of bomb in someone's hands. The person sets the…

What is the opening shot of Sunset Blvd.? If it has been a while since you have seen the film, you will probably answer that it's an image of William Holden's character floating face down in a swimming pool. And while that might be one of the most…

~ An Imbalanced World

The Asphalt Jungle opens with an extreme long shot of a diagonal, concrete stretch of urban space, introducing us to a dull, gray world that is not "in balance" or is "out of kilter." The Asphalt Jungle is a very imbalanced…

~ Moving Too Fast

One of the characteristics of noir that the opening moments of The Killers remind us of is its tremendous economy in terms of moving from a general situation and feeling to a fundamental question of human existence. The opening…

~ The Man in Charge

D.O.A. opens with a great shot of City Hall in Los Angeles at night. A man enters the frame from the side, and you see just his back in a dark suit. He walks with determination to City Hall. The camera follows him as he walks…

~ The Erotic and the Neurotic

The 1955 film Kiss Me Deadly opens from the waist down. All we see initially is a pair of bare feet, running down the centerline of a two-lane highway. On the soundtrack, we hear the breathy gasps of a woman. The…

~ To the Point

This film drops you right in. Before you see the opening credits, you have a still of the pavement with the dark legs of a hitchhiker standing on the shoulder—no face, simply a shot from the waist down—and superimposed on this…