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Forums => Picture Box => Topic started by: A Passing Turk Slipper on February 26, 2006, 06:34:05 PM

Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: A Passing Turk Slipper on February 26, 2006, 06:34:05 PM
I don't know if this is a bit of a weird thread but what is everyone's favourite opening, film wise?
I absolutely bloody adore the opening of Donnie Darko, the first shot is amazing, then Killing Moon coming in and Donnie cycling down the hill. Probably my all time favourite opening. The first time I saw it I wasn't expecting much for some reason but the first bit just blew me away and I was glued to my seat for the rest of the film.
Also, I really like the opening of Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, it really sets the tone for the rest of the film for me. I really like the framing (is that the right word?) of those opening few shots. Anyways, what are your favourite film openings and why?
I'll try and think of more later, I loved the first bit of Walk the Line, that was great too.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: butnut on February 26, 2006, 06:44:39 PM
Either:

Un Chien Andalou

(http://cours.cegep-st-jerome.qc.ca/530-gjb-p.l/images/Surandalou4.gif)

What better way to start your first film than to cooly, calmly slice open a woman's eye?

or

Once Upon a Time in the West

That incredible, slow credit sequence (the longest in cinema history I've heard - it lasts 20 minutes or so I think). Just some guys waiting for a train it seems.  And then after the train arrives, the first appearance of 'harmonica'. It's just magical.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Blumf on February 26, 2006, 06:54:18 PM
The start of The Conversation (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071360/) is pretty good, making you wonder what you're hearing.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Deadman97 on February 26, 2006, 07:06:26 PM
A bit hackneyed maybe, but the opening of Pulp Fiction made me literally jump up and down in my seat on first cinematic viewing.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Almost Yearly on February 26, 2006, 07:24:09 PM
Again obvious, but The Shining.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Mr. Analytical on February 26, 2006, 07:31:45 PM
What do you call an opening?

Because the wedding scene in the Godfather is pretty fucking fantastic.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on February 26, 2006, 07:36:21 PM
The beginning of Cube is a good one. Man wakes up in a strange place, explores his surroundings and WALLOP! It's none too subtle but it really draws you in to the rest of the film.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: smoker on February 26, 2006, 07:36:25 PM
cube

i'll say no more
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: smoker on February 26, 2006, 07:37:37 PM
now there's a coincidence
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: defmem on February 26, 2006, 07:40:07 PM
Un Chien andalou seconded.

Raising Arizona. love that opening. cant think of any others right now. My sunday pints are setting in
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Artemis on February 26, 2006, 07:44:22 PM
The Lion King gets my vote - the hearing the shrill African cry at the start of the song is spine-tingling stuff.

Also quite enjoyed Vanilla Sky for the dream sequence.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Joy Nktonga on February 26, 2006, 07:47:05 PM
Seconding The Shining. It positively oozes menace.

[cliche]Star Wars[/cliche]

Rockers. Beautifully sets the tone, even though it's pretty much the only scene of its type in the whole movie.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Charlie Potatoes on February 26, 2006, 07:47:25 PM
ninestonecreature knows that I'm gonna say "Way of the Gun" by Christopher McQuarrie. The dialogue is sheer poetry. Who could forget such memorable repartee as:

Quote
Raving Bitch: Hey dickless, get off the fucking car! Hey fucksuck, get your slippery fucking ass of the car! Listen to me, get off the fucking car with your fucking ass!
Parker: Shut that cunts mouth or I'll come over there and fuckstart her head!
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Mr. Analytical on February 26, 2006, 07:52:52 PM
Quote
Raving Bitch: Hey dickless, get off the fucking car! Hey fucksuck, get your slippery fucking ass of the car! Listen to me, get off the fucking car with your fucking ass!
Parker: Shut that cunts mouth or I'll come over there and fuckstart her head!
[/quote]

  Good God that is fantastic stuff.

  Is The Way of the Gun where they do the weird tactical bounding while the car rolls down a hill or is it the one with Christopher Lambert?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Charlie Potatoes on February 26, 2006, 08:04:18 PM
The first one - it's got james Caan and Benicio del Toro in.

Unfortunately it also has Taye Diggs and Juliette Lewis...
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Clinton Morgan on February 26, 2006, 08:08:28 PM
The arrow hitting the bullseye followed by the caption 'A Production of The Archers'.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: klaatu! on February 26, 2006, 08:16:23 PM
I like the dream sequence at the beginning of Wild Strawberries. I had a similar nightmare the night after I saw it.

With recent films, the beginning of Punch Drunk Love - Barry in his office talking on the phone, then moving outside, then that car crash. I think it's all one take too. It's all stunningly composed.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: hands cold, liver warm on February 26, 2006, 08:22:39 PM
I originally read the title of this thread as Greatest Film Operations.

I couldn't think of any
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Clinton Morgan on February 26, 2006, 08:29:33 PM
How about the double patient screw-top brain operation that Steve Martin performs in 'The Man With Two Brains'?

or even...
'Live Organ Transplants' from 'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life'

or even...
The operation on David Niven's brain in 'A Matter of Life and Death'

or even...
...at a guess as I have never seen it. The human head surgically attached to a cow's body in 'Britannia Hospital'.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: VegaLA on February 26, 2006, 08:30:23 PM
I've said it before but Die Hard 3. The music is in full swing and then suddenly stops when a dept. store explodes, then the film holds you captive from that point on.

Also gotta mention my favourite, Dawn of the dead, it opens in complete turmoil at a TV station and really gives the feeling of complete chaos and despair.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: klaatu! on February 26, 2006, 08:31:24 PM
The Fantastic Voyage. That operation lasts the entire film.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Uncle Gripper on February 26, 2006, 08:33:55 PM
Alien, very dreamy start.

Thirded on The Shining.

Appleseed is pretty hardcore as well.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: defmem on February 26, 2006, 08:53:04 PM
Love the beginning of Day of the Dead. The arms coming out the walls. Supoib.

Army of Darkness
Halloween 4
Jeepers Creepers and Clownhouse (Yes, despite Victor Salva being a dirty paedo!)
The Hitcher

Guess what genre i like most
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on February 26, 2006, 08:57:01 PM
Musicals?

Back to the Future is another great one. The giant speaker makes Nigel Tufnel's 'up to eleven' Marshall look like a piece of crap.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: InfiniteFury on February 26, 2006, 09:06:05 PM
No-one mentioned Apocalypse Now? The sight of the forest going up in smoke still gives me goosebumps
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 26, 2006, 09:08:18 PM
Saving Private Ryan.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: gazzyk1ns on February 26, 2006, 09:11:32 PM
Damn, just lost a bet I had with myself.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 26, 2006, 09:14:23 PM
What was I supposed to say?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: El Unicornio, mang on February 26, 2006, 09:18:12 PM
The opening of Witchfinder General. The quiet, beautiful English countryside interrupted by the screams of a woman being led to her death and underemoniously hanged on a hillside. The bleakness of this scene is carried on all the way through until the end.

Goodfellas, taking one of the most violent scenes from the middle of the film, plonking it at the beginning before the credits with no warning, then "As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster" and straight into the best film ever

All of the Indiana Jones films have fantastic openings too, as do most James Bond's
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: gazzyk1ns on February 26, 2006, 09:23:31 PM
Quote from: "Frinky"
What was I supposed to say?


Hehe Ghostbusters! I've always liked the beginning, that noise over the Colombia Pictures statue is really good. Sounds like I'm taking the piss, I'm not, it's a tiny moment but it's always stuck in my head. Might just be because it's one of the first films I ever paid proper attention to, I don't know.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Munday's Chylde on February 26, 2006, 09:31:19 PM
Always admired the opening of payback.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on February 26, 2006, 09:35:43 PM
The start of Blue Velvet is very memorable although the symbolism is rather overplayed.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 26, 2006, 09:38:19 PM
Quote from: "gazzyk1ns"
Hehe Ghostbusters! I've always liked the beginning, that noise over the Colombia Pictures statue is really good. Sounds like I'm taking the piss, I'm not, it's a tiny moment but it's always stuck in my head. Might just be because it's one of the first films I ever paid proper attention to, I don't know.


Yeah, it's not bad... Harold Ramis' commentary over the top of it makes it better.

My favourite intros of "that type" of film are the Blues Brothers and Back To The Future 3... 3 had a really nice intro that sets up the film perfectly. I never really liked the intro to the second (even though it has to line up with the first).
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: defmem on February 26, 2006, 09:39:35 PM
The opening (i think its in the opening bit) to zoolander always gets a giggle out of me. Just the complete idiocy of guys spraying each other with petrol.

Not a huge fan of Stiller/Ferrel/Vaughn films (with the exception of Anchorman), but that little bit makes me laugh.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: lardboy on February 26, 2006, 10:39:06 PM
The opening to Goldeneye was the perfect way to relaunch the Bond franchise.  I saw it on the opening weekend at the Odeon Leicester Square.  The cheering when he jumps off the dam is one of my favourite film memories.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: butnut on February 26, 2006, 10:48:31 PM
I've just remembered 8 1/2 (Otto e Mezzo, arthouse fans)

I love how it moves from Guido being trapped in a car in an endless traffic jam, to the end of the scene, with this remarkable shot:

(http://www.gonemovies.com/WWW/Drama/Drama/8Vlieger.jpg)

edit - English is my first language, honest.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: The Boston Crab on February 26, 2006, 10:55:48 PM
Bugsy Malone

"If it was raining brains Roxy Robinson wouldn't even get wet."
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Cardinal Tit Storm on February 26, 2006, 11:06:49 PM
Star Wars. Needs no explanation.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: TotalNightmare on February 26, 2006, 11:18:04 PM
As Ghostbusters has been taken...

The movie buff in me will have to say Touch Of Evil.

The long tracking shot of the mexican border and delivery of the bomb, the set up of the characters and the explosion all in one long crane shot, is just fantastic.

And then the opening to Monster Squad was a nice'un too!

Anyway...
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Rev on February 26, 2006, 11:19:43 PM
Quote from: "defmem"
Love the beginning of Day of the Dead. The arms coming out the walls. Supoib.


That's never the beginning of the film, is it?  The dream?  I remember it as being halfway through.  It's been a while.

I'd have to go for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The whole opening sequence is just so peculiar.  The camera flashes and whines, the radio chatter fading up in the background, the corpse arranged in a weird sitting position, then the sun bleeding away like a lava lamp and that nutty percussion.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Brutus Beefcake on February 26, 2006, 11:22:50 PM
Quote from: "lardboy"
The opening to Goldeneye was the perfect way to relaunch the Bond franchise.  I saw it on the opening weekend at the Odeon Leicester Square.  The cheering when he jumps off the dam is one of my favourite film memories.



Right up to the bit where he catches up with the plane in mid fall.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 26, 2006, 11:23:44 PM
That wasn't GoldenEye?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: TotalNightmare on February 26, 2006, 11:26:45 PM
Yea,

he jumps from the dam, sneaks into the Russian lair/power station, gets 006 killed, runs from the exploding model shots, tries to escape in a plane, gets kicked out, grabs a bike, chases the unmanned plane down the runway and off a cliff face, jumps from the bike, flies down the cliff side, climbs inside the falling plane, grabs the controls and pulls it up to safety JUST as Tina Turner starts to sing...

Goldeneye!

Far fetched, innit.

I prefer the Union Jack parachute larks!
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Munday's Chylde on February 26, 2006, 11:30:20 PM
Quote from: "Rev"
Quote from: "defmem"
Love the beginning of Day of the Dead. The arms coming out the walls. Supoib.


That's never the beginning of the film, is it?  The dream?  I remember it as being halfway through.  It's been a while..


It is the beginning yes.

Loved the start of the dawn remake - perfect 10 minutes or so that was. Woman goes home, turns off the radio, turns off the tv, sleeps for a bit, wakes up and sees a zombie - runs outside, drives off - camera floats above and we see the entire world has gone to hell.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 26, 2006, 11:47:52 PM
Quote from: "TotalNightmare"
Yea,

he jumps from the dam, sneaks into the Russian lair/power station, gets 006 killed, runs from the exploding model shots, tries to escape in a plane, gets kicked out, grabs a bike, chases the unmanned plane down the runway and off a cliff face, jumps from the bike, flies down the cliff side, climbs inside the falling plane, grabs the controls and pulls it up to safety JUST as Tina Turner starts to sing...

Goldeneye!


I thought the plane thing was one of the other films?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Dark Sky on February 27, 2006, 12:12:20 AM
Bond wise I love the Tomorrow Never Dies opening sequence.  I remember it was the first Bond film I saw at the cinema and I wasn't sure if I really wanted to see it as I wasn't sure how much I liked Bond.  But then in the cinema I remember just grinning like a loon.

Other memorable openings...

...Carpenter's Halloween.  Brilliant single steadycam opening point of view knife murder...then reveal that it's a six year old.  Beautiful.

...Magnolia.  Love all the "chances / coincidences" stuff.  Bit cheesy, but very in-your-face.

...Ozon's Sitcom.  Exterior of a house as a car drives up.  A man exits the car and enters the house, and we hear a crowd of people singing happy birthday joyfully.  Then suddenly it stops, and people start screaming...and then there's several gunshots.  Brrrr.

...The Hours.  The opening scene of Woolf committing suicide and then the montage of the three women across time with the Glass score...oh so beautiful.

...Scream 2.  Beautiful set up and scares, with hilarious parody of the original Scream.  Jada Pinkett's death is brilliant; the idea of being murdered in public with people all around you not realising what's going on makes me shiver, and despite being mocked by Scary Movie, I love her final desperate anguished cry whilst the ghostface mask is projected onto the large screen behind her.  Ghoulish.

...The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.  So Long and Thanks For All The Fish.  'Nuff said.

More when I think of any.

{edit}

...Don't Look Now.  What an incredible opening which combines beauty and tragedy and some incredible editing which provides a focal point for the rest of the entire film, which constantly refers back to it.  Fantastic use of the cinematic medium.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on February 27, 2006, 01:11:37 AM
It has to be Star Wars, really. Not just the Star Destroyer over-the-camera bit, but the whole title roll, it sets me in goosepimples every single time. Even Phantom Menace, up until 'the greedy Trade Federation'.

Also the beginning of Goldfinger. ("Shocking!", the suit under the wetsuit, the cigarette timed just as the huge explosion erupts... perfect.)

Also, the prologue of Fellowship of the Rings kicks serious arse.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Suttonpubcrawl on February 27, 2006, 01:28:31 AM
Quote from: "Frinky"
I thought the plane thing was one of the other films?


I'm pretty certain it's Goldeneye.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Lt Plonker on February 27, 2006, 01:30:49 AM
Raider of the Lost Ark.


The Paramount Mountain. Indy turning around. Alfred Molina. The Golden Statue. "No time to argue. Throw me the whip." The BIG BOULDER! Indy being chased by the natives. And the bi-plane getaway. "I HATE SNAKES."

Fucking amazing.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Ged on February 27, 2006, 02:09:32 AM
Dead or Alive
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Sam on February 27, 2006, 09:27:44 AM
The Thin Red Line: A lingering shot of an alligator slipping into some water accompaniment by a surging crescendo of strings. Then cut away to a spiralling upward shot of light falling through leaves as the voice-over intones "What's this war at the heart of nature?" This was the first Malick film I saw and I was sucked in within seconds. In fact the first 8 or 9 minutes of the film, which act as a kind of prologue, is probably the most beautiful uninterrupted sequence of images and sounds I've ever seen. The shots underwater, looking up, of the Melanesian children swimming in the beautiful blue tropical water accompanied by Faure's Requiem literally makes my spinge tingle.

Annie Hall - Woody talking directly to the camera.

Snake Eyes - Bravura, apparently single take (actually multiple takes ingeniously covered up) 10 min or so shot of Nic Cage walking around a busy stadium, wheeling and deeling and being a generally corrput fuck.

Dead Man's Shoes - Perfectly sets the mood with Smog's "Vessel in Vain" against grainy super 8 footage and the two main characters walking across beautifullly photographed countryside. Meadows is a master of mood and choosing the right music.

More to come.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Catalogue Trousers on February 27, 2006, 09:28:25 AM
Theatre Of Blood. After the cod-Shakespearean silent movie opening credits, following Michael Hordern to his unexpected, bloody demise, and "Oh, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers..." - collapse of Hordern. Brilliant.

The Adventures Of Baron Munchausen (Gilliam's version). The calm of the Age Of Reason being shattered by cannon fire, "It is FORBIDDEN to eat HUMAN FLESH" notices, huddling masses, and then that wonderful pan over the broken statue of the Baron as that glorious, hopeful music surges up...

Mars Attacks!. "is it Chinese New Year? - 'Cause it smells like you're cookin' up a feast! What is that? - Barbecue?" Followed by a stampeding herd of blazing cattle, that casual sweep up and away by the Martian saucer, followed by a full-scale invasion fleet being launched over the credits. Yes.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 27, 2006, 10:05:05 AM
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-1.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-2.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-3.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-4.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-5a.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-5b.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-5c.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-6.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-7.jpg)
(http://faculty.cua.edu/johnsong/hitchcock/images/stills/rearwindow/kelly-intro-8.jpg)


Grace Kelly wakes James Stewart up in Rear Window.

I've seen a lot of fancy panning shots, close-ups, special effects and slow zooms, but haven't seen it bettered yet.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Bamber Hopcraft on February 27, 2006, 03:08:30 PM
Quote from: "Cardinal Tit Storm"
Star Wars. Needs no explanation.



But please do enlighten us Cardinal
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Ambient Sheep on February 27, 2006, 03:47:06 PM
Surprised nobody's mentioned Trainspotting yet.  Ewan McGregor and pal legging it down that street to the accompaniment of "Lust For Life".
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Captain Crunch on February 27, 2006, 03:50:02 PM
I like that werewolf one with the woman falling down the rocky slope - splat!  splat!  boof!  splat!.  Brotherhood of Lupine something or other, that was a good one.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 27, 2006, 03:53:01 PM
Quote from: "Captain Crunch"
I like that werewolf one with the woman falling down the rocky slope - splat!  splat!  boof!  splat!.  Brotherhood of Lupine something or other, that was a good one.


Pity it was the most boring film that I'd ever seen, becuase it started well.

Edit: ahaha Horrorwatch (http://www.horrorwatch.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=607)

Quote
Brotherhood of the Wolf is a breathtaking film, even if it is French
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 27, 2006, 03:57:47 PM
I've got a list of those as long as all our arms.

Starting a film well is piss easy. I think thats why so many bad films are made. I have at least ten original ideas of how to start a film well, but couldnt make a whole film for toffee.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Ghost of Troubled Joe on February 27, 2006, 04:13:05 PM
The opening of Heavenly Creatures has yet to be beat for sheer visceral power: the quaint Englishness of that New Zealand film-reel, before being overtaken by screaming and rushing camera moves...leading up to the immortal shot of the two girls, drenched in gore, pleading straight to the camera. Shivers.

The beginning of Mirrormask is also totally beguiling: two arguing socks, and pop-up book credits.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: mr. nice guy on February 27, 2006, 04:17:05 PM
Panic Room springs to mind

The way the camera pans through the house is superb
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: TotalNightmare on February 27, 2006, 04:19:27 PM
i think Evil Dead 2 has a great opening...

in so much that the swirling pools of blood, the book being scribbed in, floating demons, dark swirls and in to the title only to come out the other side of a tunnel.

And then the next 15 minutes is basically the whole first movie cramped down to get to the part where Ash is thrown thru the forest.

Nice.

and its not a move, but Resident Evil 4 has the best 'pre credits' sequence ever.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Emergency Lalla Ward Ten on February 27, 2006, 04:20:30 PM
I used to have a bootleg video of Clockwork Orange which didn't feature the opening titles - the opening shot was Alex glaring into the camera. For years, I thought that was how it started - I was quite disappointed to discover that it had straight titles beforehand.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Emergency Lalla Ward Ten on February 27, 2006, 04:25:16 PM
I nominate Billy Liar, anyway - you see the postwar urban landscape change before your eyes, scored to ridiculously inappropriate/moving music from Housewives' Choice (Song of the Clyde, Lara's Song, Litolff's Scherzo), until the camera finally comes to rest at the bleakest breakfast table in the world. Hasn't been bettered.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Emergency Lalla Ward Ten on February 27, 2006, 04:28:37 PM
Quote from: "Ambient Sheep"
Surprised nobody's mentioned Trainspotting yet.  Ewan McGregor and pal legging it down that street to the accompaniment of "Lust For Life".


Too self-conscious. Desperately wants to be seen as an iconic opening sequence.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Identity Crisis Ahoy! on February 27, 2006, 05:02:23 PM
Um...
(http://www.ragingbullsoundtrack.com/launch.jpg)

Or... Kill Bill.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 27, 2006, 05:03:57 PM
Nah, Kill Bill is bollocks but you've got a point about Raging Bull.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Four Eyes on February 27, 2006, 05:17:34 PM
The opening sequence of Ghost World, a montage from a 1960s Bollywood video and voyeuristic shots of the neighbours, is brilliant, and had me liking the film straight away.

For all it's faults, Cruel Intentions has a great first scene, revealing Sebatian's sadistic side in a fantastic, satisfying way.

And finally, High Fidelity. Starting The 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me" as soon as the touchstone pictures logo flashes, timing the first strum of the guitar at the exact same second of the flash, then the record itself spinning towards you, then volume control....follow the cord to the headphones... and WHAM! The Cusack. Brilliant start to the film, and as soon as I see it I know immediately that I'll be watching the next 1 hour and 49 minutes no matter what.

I love High Fidelity, I do.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on February 27, 2006, 05:36:13 PM
Are you a female, Four Eyes?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: surreal on February 27, 2006, 06:04:35 PM
Quote from: "Purple Tentacle"
It has to be Star Wars, really. Not just the Star Destroyer over-the-camera bit, but the whole title roll, it sets me in goosepimples every single time. Even Phantom Menace, up until 'the greedy Trade Federation'.


Have to agree with this - the opening of every Star Wars movies gives me the tinglies... 20th Century Fox drums, Lucasfilm logo, silence.... "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...", pause.... Williams theme kicks in... awesome....

Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, the chatty openings are fun, especially RD leading into the slo-mo across the carpark.

What is the opening scene of The Shining?  I can't remember....
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Jemble Fred on February 27, 2006, 06:07:32 PM
"Once upon a time, or maybe twice..."

Yeah, unless you count the entire 10 or 20 minute opening sequence of An American Werewolf, Yellow Submarine wins.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: El Unicornio, mang on February 27, 2006, 06:09:51 PM
Quote from: "surreal"


What is the opening scene of The Shining?  I can't remember....


It's shots of them driving along the mountainside to the Overlook hotel (incidentally, these shots were also used for a "happy ending" which was tacked onto an alternative version of Blade Runner)
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: falafel on February 27, 2006, 06:13:01 PM
Quote from: "Clinton Morgan"
'Live Organ Transplants' from 'Monty Python's The Meaning of Life


Not the opener, though! You're either looking at 'The Crimson Permanent Assurance' or the 'Birth' sketch, depending on your sensibility, for that thar movie.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Four Eyes on February 27, 2006, 06:20:25 PM
Quote from: "Purple Tentacle"
Are you a female, Four Eyes?


Um, no.

Not gay, either.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: mwude on February 27, 2006, 06:33:16 PM
Quote from: "mr. nice guy"
Panic Room springs to mind

The way the camera pans through the house is superb


Is that right at the start?  Can't say the whole film did much for me but the camera passing through a coffee mug (or jug?) handle was some thing that's always stuck in my head.

I like the woozy sense of hungover despair at the start of Withnail and I.  Especially Richard E Grant's off-screen "No" in response to the offer of a cup of tea.  And for so many years I had a shitty recorded copy with that macrovision brightness thing flashing up & down all the time.  It just added to the whole groginess of it, like the way people get used to a scratch on a certain point of their favourite records.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 27, 2006, 07:11:58 PM
I suppose someone must have mentioned Saving Private Ryan.

And Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 27, 2006, 07:14:03 PM
That tracking shot at the beginning of the The Player.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: mrpants on February 27, 2006, 07:39:14 PM
Quote from: "Purple Tentacle"
Are you a female, Four Eyes?


I always thought High Fidelity was an acceptable rom-com for men.  Is it known as a 'girl' film then?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: El Unicornio, mang on February 27, 2006, 07:47:22 PM
I'm amazed no-one has yet mentioned the incredible opening few minutes of Contact which zooms through the entire universe into the young girl's eye
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: lactating man nips on February 27, 2006, 08:05:15 PM
Quote from: "The Unicorn"
I'm amazed no-one has yet mentioned the incredible opening few minutes of Contact which zooms through the entire universe into the young girl's eye


Your right that is a great opening, i think contact is a bit underated actually.

I dont think anyone has mentioned the Once Upon a Time in the West opening yet. Beloved by film studies classes everywhere.

I agree with whomever said opening a film is easy, well i wouldnt say easy but good endings are a lot harder. Blade had an ace opening but the ending was a bit wimpy.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: neveragain on February 27, 2006, 08:14:47 PM
The Naked Gun films always had tremendous openings, and then you had the opening credit sequences themselves which are utter class. Can't remember anything of the opening bits now except for of the third one, which was a bit shit in comparison.

How did the Hot Shots films begin?

If only the Final Destination films restrained from putting the credits up until after the 'I've had a vision'-'No you haven't - YAAAAARGH!' pieces then they'd have absolutely cracking contenders for this thread.

Ah, Nuts In May is lovely - driving along singing merrily in the car.

Oh, and any film that starts on the same scene that ends the film with any perceptible degree of success gets in my book. Can anyone think of any good examples of this?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on February 27, 2006, 08:18:28 PM
Quote from: "mrpants"
Quote from: "Purple Tentacle"
Are you a female, Four Eyes?


I always thought High Fidelity was an acceptable rom-com for men.  Is it known as a 'girl' film then?


Heh, not as far as I know, but I did hate it.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: El Unicornio, mang on February 27, 2006, 08:18:31 PM
Quote from: "neveragain"


Oh, and any film that starts on the same scene that ends the film with any perceptible degree of success gets in my book. Can anyone think of any good examples of this?


I think Memento did that, and Pulp Fiction kind of did too
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: mrpants on February 27, 2006, 08:24:42 PM
...and Fight Club.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Orias on February 27, 2006, 08:46:57 PM
Quote from: "Many Whores"

...Magnolia.  Love all the "chances / coincidences" stuff.  Bit cheesy, but very in-your-face.
...Don't Look Now.  What an incredible opening which combines beauty and tragedy and some incredible editing which provides a focal point for the rest of the entire film, which constantly refers back to it.  Fantastic use of the cinematic medium
...Annie Hall.  Woody talking directly to the camera
...Star Wars. Star Destroyer
...Fellowship Of The Ring.  Prologue  
...Wild Strawberries.  Dream Sequence
...Witchfinder General.  Hanging
...Goodfellas.   "As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster"
...Saving Private Ryan.   . Carnage on Omaha Beach.
...Un Chien Andalou.   Freeing the conscious mind through shock
...'A Production of The Archers'..  
...Trainspotting. Lust for Life   .


Agreed
Quote from: "Someone Else"

...Rear Window.  Grace Kelly wakes James Stewart up in Rear Window.
I've seen a lot of fancy panning shots, close-ups, special effects and slow zooms, but haven't seen it bettered yet.


ABSOLUTELY. One of the finest kisses in screen history,

I'll add:
...Manhattan.  One man's cinematic paean to New York.
...The Wicker Man. The montage over the Isle of Skye, landing at Summerisle, to some fantastic mouth music and Paul Giovanni's "Corn Rigs"  
...Jaws.   Breathtaking montage of unseen terror
...Citizen Kane.  "No Trespassing", the zoom into Xanadu, Kane's death and "Rosebud"
...Vertigo, North By Northwest. Marvellous Saul Bass titles, with a fantastic rooftop chase in "Vertigo"  

and I'll go for one from TV.
...Robin Of Sherwood - The Swords of Wayland.  Devil worship, dead priests, graverobbing and fantastic imagery all in a 3 minute pre-credits sequence at 5.35 on a Saturday afternoon.  Listen to the commentary on the DVD to hear producer Paul Knight stunned into silence at how good it all is even 20 years later.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on February 27, 2006, 09:04:13 PM
I can't believe I forgot about Memento. The reversed shot of the photo fading away while Leonard desperately shakes it is such a great metaphor for his condition.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: TheWizard on February 27, 2006, 09:40:05 PM
The Pledge also starts and ends with the same scene

Susparia
Fargo
Casino
City of God
The Royal Tenebaums


Blade Runner
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Sam on February 27, 2006, 10:07:56 PM
Quote from: "neveragain"

Oh, and any film that starts on the same scene that ends the film with any perceptible degree of success gets in my book. Can anyone think of any good examples of this?


I love films that have the same start and end (bookends). Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys is an obvious example of this.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Tokyo Sexwhale on February 27, 2006, 10:39:29 PM
Quote from: "Frinky"
Quote from: "Captain Crunch"
I like that werewolf one with the woman falling down the rocky slope - splat!  splat!  boof!  splat!.  Brotherhood of Lupine something or other, that was a good one.


Pity it was the most boring film that I'd ever seen, becuase it started well.

Edit: ahaha Horrorwatch (http://www.horrorwatch.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=607)

Quote
Brotherhood of the Wolf is a breathtaking film, even if it is French


Another werewolf film, "The Beast Must Die" starts with a warning to watch out for the "Werewolf Break" with some suitably spooky music over a picture of an admittedly crap werewolf.  It then kicks into seventies blaxploitation as Calvin Lockhart is pursued through a forest, only to be shot down in front of a typical English country mansion, where a group including Peter Cushing and Michael Gambon are enjoying afternoon tea.

Fantastic!
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: klaatu! on February 27, 2006, 10:44:49 PM
Quote from: "Four Eyes"
The opening sequence of Ghost World, a montage from a 1960s Bollywood video and voyeuristic shots of the neighbours, is brilliant, and had me liking the film straight away.


Featuring clips from the film Gumnaam. Right click and save as (http://blogfiles.wfmu.org/BT/jan_pehechaan_ho.mpg)
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on February 27, 2006, 10:58:12 PM
Quote from: "TheWizard"
Blade Runner


Ooooh fucking hell yes.

Awesome, literally.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Quast In Spaaace! on February 27, 2006, 11:29:25 PM
Another vote for Donnie Darko.  And one for The Doors.  I can't think of another right now but when I do it might also begin with D.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: El Unicornio, mang on February 27, 2006, 11:38:52 PM
Apocalypse Now, for the scenes of the war as a bad trip with 'The End' by the Doors played over the top, and the great segue into Martin Sheen being all drunk in his hotel room, especially when I found out that he was really blind drunk and really smashed his hand on that mirror
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Steve Thompson Dance Mix on February 27, 2006, 11:48:23 PM
Bladerunner
Three Colours Blue and Red
Delicatessen
A Clockwork Orange

Oh yeah, Hitchhikers Gudie to the Galaxy. Beautiful.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Regular John on February 27, 2006, 11:58:16 PM
The Descent had a great opening scene, very unexpected.

Everything else has pretty much been covered.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: chimpoo on February 28, 2006, 12:05:28 AM
Everything but Kubrick's '2001' that is.  I know I won't be able to spell it so I'm not going to try.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth on February 28, 2006, 12:14:18 AM
Mallrats. Not big or clever but it made me laugh like a drain.
Also if we're including games then Silent Hill wins hands down.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Identity Crisis Ahoy! on February 28, 2006, 12:50:10 AM
Quote from: "terminallyrelaxed"
Nah, Kill Bill is bollocks but you've got a point about Raging Bull.


Ach I enjoyed Kill Bill, I'm a sucker for black and white stuff, and the 'execution' of The Bride was quite stunning, to me. It's not on par with most movies mentioned here, but I like it.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Uncle Gripper on February 28, 2006, 12:50:11 AM
If we were including games 'Another World' would deffo win!
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Frinky on February 28, 2006, 12:50:42 AM
MechWarrior 2 had an incredible opening for it's time.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: zozman on February 28, 2006, 01:39:51 AM
Quote from: "Orias"


and I'll go for one from TV.
...Robin Of Sherwood - The Swords of Wayland.  Devil worship, dead priests, graverobbing and fantastic imagery all in a 3 minute pre-credits sequence at 5.35 on a Saturday afternoon.  Listen to the commentary on the DVD to hear producer Paul Knight stunned into silence at how good it all is even 20 years later.


Anyone seen Cerys lately?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: A Passing Turk Slipper on February 28, 2006, 01:58:32 AM
Is there not a new Robin Hood series being made at the moment, to be shown in a Doctor Who style slot?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: phantom_power on February 28, 2006, 08:29:41 AM
carlito's way starts and ends at the same point


scream has a great opening, killing off the star at the start of the film

the lost boys? munich? who framed roger rabbit?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 28, 2006, 09:26:57 AM
Quote from: "Identity Crisis Ahoy!"
Quote from: "terminallyrelaxed"
Nah, Kill Bill is bollocks but you've got a point about Raging Bull.


Ach I enjoyed Kill Bill, I'm a sucker for black and white stuff, and the 'execution' of The Bride was quite stunning, to me. It's not on par with most movies mentioned here, but I like it.


Oh the film as awhole is alright, but I just didnt think the opening scene was all that.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 28, 2006, 09:39:39 AM
High Plains Drifter

(http://www.uwic.ac.uk/csad/staff/Staff_work/Dave%20shep/still.jpg)
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on February 28, 2006, 11:10:59 AM
Quote from: "Uncle Gripper"
If we were including games 'Another World' would deffo win!


Hehe, good call!

Day of the Tentacle, naturally ("I feel stronger... smarter... more aggressive") and Grim Fandango, although the whole game is so beautiful it feels unfair to isolate the introduction. (The computer showing a negative graph with a flashing arrow pointing to it cracks me up every time.)
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Catalogue Trousers on February 28, 2006, 11:40:44 AM
If we include games, a quick huzzah for the much-maligned (unjustly, I feel) GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. Just the fun of being able to kill Brosnan's Bond - hell, Bond full-stop - is worth something.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: terminallyrelaxed on February 28, 2006, 11:41:59 AM
Well, if we're doing games, Halo 2. No contest.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: SetToStun on February 28, 2006, 12:02:08 PM
If we are doing games (and it seems the evidence is in favour) then the opening credits for Ripper must be in there. Playing those in a dark room at midnight shat me right up, I don't mind admitting. Played the credits more than the game in the end. Since the game was a bit crap. Apart from Christopher Walken - he was good.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Shoulders?-Stomach! on February 28, 2006, 12:26:24 PM
2001 and Dune are ones that stick in my memory. Wasn't looking forward to Dune much but then the opening immediately convinced me otherwise. And 2001's is about as ballsy as you can get- the equivalent of whacking your todger on the table and screaming "beat this".
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Harold Lloyd's Safety Net on February 28, 2006, 01:06:28 PM
Raiders Of The Lost Ark - Thirded
Jaws - seconded

John Carpenter's The Thing - space pod breaks through earth's atmosphere (ripped off considerably in Predator), then cut to knackered dog being chased through the Antarctic snow by a trigger happy helicopter pilot.  

From Dusk Till Dawn - typical Tarantino intro, but I love the dialogue and the 'shooting out the spirit bottles and throwing the lighter-fluid soaked toilet roll' thing.  Then as the two brothers stroll out of the building, bickering as the whole building explodes behind them...  just very cool.

Dazed And Confused - Stoned american teenagers turning up to school to the sound of Aerosmith's Sweet Emotion.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Cerys on February 28, 2006, 02:39:50 PM
Quote from: "zozman"
Quote from: "Orias"


and I'll go for one from TV.
...Robin Of Sherwood - The Swords of Wayland.  Devil worship, dead priests, graverobbing and fantastic imagery all in a 3 minute pre-credits sequence at 5.35 on a Saturday afternoon.  Listen to the commentary on the DVD to hear producer Paul Knight stunned into silence at how good it all is even 20 years later.


Anyone seen Cerys lately?


Sorry, I've been busy drooling.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: wasp_f15ting on February 28, 2006, 03:04:15 PM
There are many, and there are better ones in the series I am presenting.

This is the opening sequence of Terminator 3, poorly acted film, but this was just stunning to see as an opening to a movie.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v66/azariah/expsm.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v66/azariah/expla.jpg)

Click for 720p original image, 1280 x 720

The sound was pretty damn good too.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Four Eyes on February 28, 2006, 04:35:13 PM
Quote from: "mrpants"
Quote from: "Purple Tentacle"
Are you a female, Four Eyes?


I always thought High Fidelity was an acceptable rom-com for men.  Is it known as a 'girl' film then?


I thought the question was prompted by my writing "The Cusack".

Quote from: "jtc"
Quote from: "Four Eyes"
The opening sequence of Ghost World, a montage from a 1960s Bollywood video and voyeuristic shots of the neighbours, is brilliant, and had me liking the film straight away.


Featuring clips from the film Gumnaam. Right click and save as (http://blogfiles.wfmu.org/BT/jan_pehechaan_ho.mpg)


Oooh, ta!
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Ambient Sheep on February 28, 2006, 05:09:02 PM
Paris, Texas.  Harry Dean Stanton striding out of the desert, beneath that endless blue sky, with Ry Cooder sliding away.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Dark Sky on February 28, 2006, 05:46:44 PM
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Nothing like sitting there in the cinema thinking, "oh God, did we walk into the right screen?".  My mum turned to my sister and I and asked in a far too loud voice, "are we still in nursery?!"

Not gonna explain that one any further 'cause if you haven't seen the film you are a shit.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: rjd2 on February 28, 2006, 06:20:36 PM
Quote from: "butnut"


Once Upon a Time in the West

That incredible, slow credit sequence (the longest in cinema history I've heard - it lasts 20 minutes or so I think). Just some guys waiting for a train it seems.  And then after the train arrives, the first appearance of 'harmonica'. It's just magical.


Totally agreed the best thing Sergio Leone and ennio morricone ever did. Does Fonda kill the family before the credits?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Munday's Chylde on February 28, 2006, 06:34:57 PM
Quote from: "Dark Sky"
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Nothing like sitting there in the cinema thinking, "oh God, did we walk into the right screen?".  My mum turned to my sister and I and asked in a far too loud voice, "are we still in nursery?!"

Not gonna explain that one any further 'cause if you haven't seen the film you are a shit.


Did you actualy like the movie? Surely not?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: mothman on February 28, 2006, 10:54:43 PM
Star Trek: First Contact - Zooming out from Picard's eye to show him stuck in a Borg alcove, just one of thousands. Plus, I love the shot about five minutes in of the Borg cube roaring overhead just before two photon torpedoes slam into it.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on February 28, 2006, 10:56:22 PM
Ooh, also quickly followed by the shot that they ALWAYS cut on telly, where the drill goes slowly towards Picard's eye, and just starts to bend the surface of the eyeball...
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: mothman on February 28, 2006, 11:16:29 PM
Yes, indeedy.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: The Duck Man on March 01, 2006, 01:30:39 AM
Quote from: "A Passing Turk Slipper"
Is there not a new Robin Hood series being made at the moment, to be shown in a Doctor Who style slot?

A day late, but YES
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Orias on March 01, 2006, 09:52:27 PM
Quote from: "The Duck Man"
Quote from: "A Passing Turk Slipper"
Is there not a new Robin Hood series being made at the moment, to be shown in a Doctor Who style slot?

A day late, but YES


Not sure how I feel about this.  I was still half hoping for a "Robin and Marian" 20 years later Robin Of Sherwood special.  Would love to see an older Ray Winstone-portrayed Will Scarlet.  Everything was so right with the series; cast, music, script, tone, direction.  Top notch.

Any news on casting?
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Clinton Morgan on March 01, 2006, 10:39:21 PM
I'd nominate the opening of Ingmar Bergman's 'Persona'.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: The Duck Man on March 01, 2006, 11:17:17 PM
I swear they've cast some unknown as Robin, but a BBC search turns up nothing and that's where I would have seen it.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Cerys on March 01, 2006, 11:23:52 PM
According to Digital Spy (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/article/ds29283.html) it's a chap called Jonas Armstrong:

(http://www.rada.org/grad03/arms.jpg)

Edit - I do believe he played the schoolboy that Penny was shagging in the last series of Teachers.

Edit again - Penny, not Polly, you silly woman.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: fudgemonkey on April 19, 2006, 05:15:52 PM
BUMPED ...
for the reason I finally watched the film about the truck Duel yetserday  and thought that the scene with him driving with the radio on at the beginning was brilliant.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: jennifer on April 19, 2006, 05:54:18 PM
NOTHING stirs me more than *strings swell*

*helicopter shot swoops magestically over mountain range, snowy peaks, crystal blue skies*

THEEEEEEERE'S a buuunch of birds in the skyyyyyyyyyyy....
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Blaaah on April 19, 2006, 06:46:15 PM
I've probably already posted on this thread and have no memory of doing so, but in case that isn't the case: the opening shots of Ivan (Alexander Dovzhenko, 1932). Throw in Aerograd (same director, 1935) for that matter, for the moment when you find yourself thinking "OF COURSE! IT'S MUSIC!"

Chimes At Midnight by Orson Welles, of course.

The Go-Between (Joseph Losey, 1971). Bang, we're off.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: jutl on April 19, 2006, 07:27:31 PM
Quote from: "Clinton Morgan"
I'd nominate the opening of Ingmar Bergman's 'Persona'.


Yes, it is the only decent bit of the film. I love Bergman usually, but I've never managed to find Persona anything other than an extremely trying experiment in 'post-modern' themes. Lingering shots of immaculate Nordic blondes, the odd dirty anecdote and some poorly spliced in news footage does not make a movie into art, I'd say. Bergman seemed to go off the boil for a while in the mid-60s. All These Women from the same period is surely the worst film ever made by a great director. It's like a Blake Edwards film directed by Orac off Blakes 7.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Chers penis on April 19, 2006, 07:30:15 PM
dead or Alive by miike takeshi. might have been mentioned already and if not, shame on all of you.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: thomasina on April 19, 2006, 07:52:53 PM
Betty Blue.  Someone recently mentioned ithe film as not being all that good when you watch it now, but I disagree.

The first 30 minutes of every Bond movie.

Kill Bill - I don't care if everyone else hates it, that opening is fantastic.

Agree with donnie Darko and Star Trek:First Contact as well.  Both openings gave me goosebumps.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Plaincunt on April 19, 2006, 10:14:22 PM
"La Dolce Vita"  with Marcello Mastorianni flying a helicopter over Rome transporting a statue of Jesus. One of the more absurd moments in film history when the local women sunbathing on a rooftop rise up and scream "Look, it's Jesus!".
Hilarious too.


Have to agree on apocalypse now, if we consider the opening including the hotel room scene.


Psycho - the titles by Saul Bass are astounding. It's just a joy watching his titles, I mean this man transformed titles into an artform. There are some films I don't hold in very high regard, but would go see because of Bass' titles.

Mean Streets by Scorsese -  "You don't make up for your sins in the church. You do in the streets.  You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it."
Scorsese's best film. I have to watch this at least once a year.



All Powell & Pressburger films, especially The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

And finally, Aki Kaurismäki's modernisation of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. The protagonist sneaks into an apartment of a wealthy businessman and the following discussion ensues:

Businessman: "What are you doing here?"

Protagonist: "I'm here to kill you."

Businessman: "Why?"

Protagonist: "That's something you will not find out for the rest of your life."

*Bang*

This shot is composed so classically, it's just a pure joy. A truly fantastic film as a whole as well.


I could go on (instantly had an image of Morris in my mind saying "Please do!"), but I won't be wasting more of your time.


_ _
Apologies for possible typos and errors, English is not my first, although it is a very close second. And I'm a bit pished.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Blaaah on April 20, 2006, 12:37:12 AM
Quote from: "jutl"
Lingering shots of immaculate Nordic blondes, the odd dirty anecdote and some poorly spliced in news footage does not make a movie into art, I'd say.


All films are art, surely? The big question I ask of a film is not "is this film art?" but "is this film good art or bad art?"


Oh, and here's a few more openings:

The big shot in Touch Of Evil (you know who, 1958);

the opening of A Woman Under The Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974): the opera and the construction workers;

A Countess From Hong Kong (Charles Chaplin, 1967): A criminally underrated film. One of the most moving openings in cinema, actually, especially Chaplin's deliberately archaic use of the credit "An Original Screenplay Directed by Charles Chaplin". He apparently intended to make another film after this, but it doesn't feel ike it;

"I Gotta Horse" (or whatever it's called) in Guys And Dolls[/i ](Joseph Mankiewicz, 1955);

the beginning of Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1978), up until it starts to have a story;

Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964): For its outrageous formalism - you can hear the shots clunking into place;

the openings of My Ain Folk and My Way Home (Bill Douglas, 1973, 1978), which I couldn't describe in words.

I could go on...

Oh! How could I forget, the incredible tracking shot which opens The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, 1992), which seems to take place outside of time.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: jutl on April 20, 2006, 12:46:10 AM
Quote from: "Blaaah"

All films are art, surely? The big question I ask of a film is not "is this film art?" but "is this film good art or bad art?"


Films don't have to be art, do they? Persona is an unsuccessful art movie (for me) because it's clearly intended to be art but (unlike almost all other Bergman movies I've seen) has no unity and tries too, too fucking hard.

Anyway - my trying to trash Persona isn't really on topic.. sorry.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Darrell on April 20, 2006, 01:00:03 AM
Life Of Brian, for its pre-titles, its titles, and its first scene proper.

Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory for that lingering montage of close-up shots of actual chocolate bars being made.

Oh, and Blazing Saddles, purely for that glorious song.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Garam on April 20, 2006, 04:46:39 AM
Bringing out the Dead. E-I-E-I-O I love this film. By far Scorsese's most underrated. Anyway, the opening with the ambulance speeding along to Van Morrison's T.B.Sheets gets me all tingly.

And Cool-Hand Luke where he's cutting the parking meters, the cops arrive and he just smiles. Coooool.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: neveragain on April 20, 2006, 12:20:37 PM
Quote from: "mary toft"
NOTHING stirs me more than *strings swell*

*helicopter shot swoops magestically over mountain range, snowy peaks, crystal blue skies*

THEEEEEEERE'S a buuunch of birds in the skyyyyyyyyyyy....


Brilliant. 'And some deer just went running by...'

Also agree with Life Of Brian and add to that the Holy Grail for a tremendous slow-burn opening joke (credits sequence).
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Purple Tentacle on April 20, 2006, 03:44:15 PM
I watched Wrath of Khan again the other day, and was rather enamoured by Kirsty Alley, all Vulcan and severe, killing off the Enterprise crew due to incompetence. But then I have an unhealthy thing for the husky voiced dirty Scientologist.

Die Hard With A Vengence has already been mentioned, hasn't it? Because I've been thinking about that opening a lot recently, and it's bloody hard to top if you want a film to grab you by the throat straight away. The 'I Hate n**gers' sign was also pretty shocking when I first saw it.

The first two overwrought 'BAAAAAAAH - baaaaaaaahh!!!!' notes of the 'Goldfinger' theme never fail to set me off in goosepimples, it really never did get better than that.


Hmm, how depressing, I've never made a film with a beginning that wasn't a bit lousy. I must start stealing.
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: The Boston Crab on April 20, 2006, 04:06:05 PM
"Roxy Robinson had spent his whole life making two and two into five, he could smell trouble like other people could smell gas but believe youse me, he should never have taken that blind alley by the side of Perito's bakery..."

Mobsters approach.

"Your name Robinson?" (nods)
"Roxy Robinson?" (nods)
"You work for Fat Sam?" (nods)

Splurge guns...freeze frame.

"As sure as eggs is eggs, Roxy the Weasel had been scrambled."

#He's a sinner, candy-coated...#
Title: Greatest Film Openings
Post by: Blaaah on April 20, 2006, 05:10:34 PM
Quote from: "jutl"
Films don't have to be art, do they?


I'd say so, yes. I mean, they don't have totryto be. It's not a requirement, just an attribute. Film is an artform, after all, so all films are art. It's just a question of what kind of art. For me, anyway.