Watch: Excellent Supercut Compares Films’ First and Final Shots Side-by-Side

     March 19, 2015


While movies are considered “entertainment” by a certain degree of general audiences, they are also very much an art form. The best films hide the filmmaking technique, making the intense craft and behind-the-scenes decision-making an invisible yet absolutely vital part of what makes the movie a success. And then there are other filmmakers whose talent is unmistakable and impossible to ignore, like Stanley KubrickTerrence MalickDavid Fincher.

Structure is absolutely key in putting together a film. The right sequence of events and a specific ordering of shots can sometimes make all the difference in getting across a film’s themes, however subtle. This is especially prevalent in a movie’s opening and closing shots. Now something like Paul Blart: Mall Cop isn’t going to be deriving much thematic relevance from how it begins and ends, but the very best filmmakers are able to juxtapose how they introduce a story to audiences with how they conclude it in a way that reinforces the film’s themes.

One very talented Vimeo user has put together a supercut of the first and final shots of a number of films, placing them side-by-side for comparisons sake. The result is an absolutely fascinating and beautiful chronicle of filmmaking at its finest, as the opening and closing shots of films like Gone Girl, The Searchers, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Raging Bull, Children of Men, 12 Years a Slave, The Tree of Life, Birdman and many, many more are highlighted in this excellent video.

Watch the First and Final Frame video supercut below, created by Jacob T. Swinney (via Vulture), followed by a list of the films included:

The Tree of Life 00:00
The Master 00:09
Brokeback Mountain 00:15
No Country for Old Men 00:23
Her 00:27
Blue Valentine 00:30
Birdman 00:34
Black Swan 00:41
Gone Girl 00:47
Kill Bill Vol. 2 00:53
Punch-Drunk Love 00:59
Silver Linings Playbook 01:06
Taxi Driver 01:11
Shutter Island 01:20
Children of Men 01:27
We Need to Talk About Kevin 01:33
Funny Games (2007) 01:41
Fight Club 01:47
12 Years a Slave 01:54
There Will be Blood 01:59
The Godfather Part II 02:05
Shame 02:10
Never Let Me Go 02:17
The Road 02:21
Hunger 02:27
Raging Bull 02:31
Cabaret 02:36
Before Sunrise 02:42
Nebraska 02:47
Frank 02:54
Cast Away 03:01
Somewhere 03:06
Melancholia 03:11
Morvern Callar 03:18
Take this Waltz 03:21
Buried 03:25
Lord of War 03:32
Cape Fear 03:38
12 Monkeys 03:45
The World According to Garp 03:50
Saving Private Ryan 03:57
Poetry 04:02
Solaris (1972) 04:05
Dr. Strangelove 04:11
The Astronaut Farmer 04:16
The Piano 04:21
Inception 04:26
Boyhood 04:31
Whiplash 04:37
Cloud Atlas 04:43
Under the Skin 04:47
2001: A Space Odyssey 04:51
Gravity 04:57
The Searchers 05:03
The Usual Suspects 05:23


Image via Fox Searchlight

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