A single frame is rarely more important than all of the others in a film, but the first and last can leave one hell of an impression.

In a brand new juxtapositional supercut from Jacob T. Swinney, the prolific video-essayist took 55 contemporary films and sandwiched the first and last few seconds of each against one another. The result is a serene study in how we perceive the meaning of images.

Here are the films in this piece in order of appearance.

  • 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

If there’s anything to be gleaned from this piece, it’s that the first and last frames of a film can be incredibly impactful. Sometimes these frames can be purely representational of the journey that was just undertaken, as is the case with Nebraska12 Years a Slave, and Before Sunset. Sometimes they visually portray a significant change in the film’s main character, like in Shame, The Godfather Part II, and Frank. Many choose to bookend their films with similar images, or images that are almost identical (Gone Girl is a great example). No matter how the first and final frames are used, they’re almost always incredibly meaningful and somehow representational of the story being told and its themes.

Read article: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/03/first-final-frames-famous-films-teach-good-filmmaking

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The First and Final Frames of Famous Films Can Teach Us a Lot about Good Filmmaking

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