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Freeheld stumbles over too many hurdles to recommend it. The film’s heart is in the right place, but its focus is not.



Cassel’s latest movie that smartly keeps his innate menace on a slow, low simmer, isn’t nearly as convincing or compelling as its star.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…


Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Opening Shots Project Index


A little beyond the first anniversary of the Opening Shots Project, I figured it was past time to compile a handy, one-page index to all the contributions. The Opening Shots category page takes forever to load, so now you can bring up a handy single-page list (just click "continue reading" to get the whole thing). The Opening Shots Index can always be found in the Categories listing at right.

Oh, and the Opening Shots Project itself isn't over, not by a long shot!

Introductory posts:

(Introduction) Movies 101: The Opening Shots Project

Opening Shots Lexicon

Opening Shots Project: Pop Quiz

Quiz 2: 10 Easy Pieces (+2)

David Bordwell on establishing shots -- and Opening Shots

Roughly in the order of posting...

Altered States

His Girl Friday

Miller's Crossing

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Dazed and Confused

Kiss Me Deadly

The Crying Game


Beware of a Holy Whore

Superman / Lost in Translation

Stranger Than Paradise


Choose Me

2001: A Space Odyssey

Flowers of Shanghai


Dawn of the Dead

Deep Red


Withnail & I

Nights of Cabiria


Fight Club


Star Wars

Thieves Like Us

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Annie Hall


Femme Fatale


The Rapture

Vertigo / Munich

Le Femme Infidel

Ghost World

The Wire

Man Push Cart

Raiders of the Lost Ark



A Hard Day's Night

Punch Drunk Love

Cat People (1982)

The Silence of the Lambs

Day for Night

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Repo Man

Raw Meat


Little Murders

The Girl Can't Help It

Eyes Wide Shut

The 'burbs

The Big Animal

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