Thursday, March 19, 2015
New supercut celebrates the symmetry of bookending shots
Over the course of two hours, most films show growth and change. It's reasonable to suggest that the characters you meet at the start of the movie are not the same ones you see off at the end. Filmmakers understand that and frequently look for visual ways to tie their beginnings and endings together.
Jacob Swinney took this concept to its logical conclusion and created this montage of the very first and very last shots of a few dozen famous films. Not every movie he picked works, but it's fascinating to see how the best ones match their opening and closing scenes with color, composition, and so forth. Some pairings show character growth; others are cyclical. A few examples even repeat their opening shots verbatim. (The music selection also deserves credit for making the whole package work.)
Many of these films had very satisfying endings, and this is a great example of how to achieve that. We probably don't even notice this deliberate symmetry most of the time, but it works on an extremely effective, subconscious level.
(And that last literal "match" shot? Excellent.)