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Greatest closing shots


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#1 Dan Goulder

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 06:21 PM

Conversely, what are the greatest closing shots, the ones that stay with you long after the credits roll? (I figured having a separate list would work best).
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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:08 PM

Following my take on the greatest opening shot/sequence posted here, I would go for something both currently fashionable (in light of Indy IV), mainstreamy (I am unapologetic about that) and non-arty (too obvious a choice):

The greatest closing shot for me is from Douglas Slocombe in Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Totally unexpected, incredulously humourist, frighteningly plausible, with both a great cinematic scope to it, scarse economic cinematography, yet incredibly powerful and impacting the viewer to leave the cinema with a sense of wonder - which is what the film is all about: not more, not less.


The greatest closing sequence for me would be from Gus van Sant's "My own private Idaho".
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#3 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

I like the ending of "Paradise Now" (Hany Abu-Assad). Actually it's always the first movie that comes to my mind when I'm asked about ... best endings. Another one that I also like a lot is the one from "Broken Flowers" by Jim Jarmusch (that 360 degree shot).

And ... the very last shot of "The Brown Bunny" (Vincent Gallo) is also fantastic. If you've seen it, you know why ...
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#4 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 11:50 PM

End shot of Electra Glide in Blue is pretty spectacular... (Conrad Hall shot it)

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related
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#5 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:20 AM

2001.

That stuck with me for a few years.

Edited by Ayz Waraich, 20 May 2008 - 12:20 AM.

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#6 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:01 AM

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Planet of the Apes (1968), The Shining, Easy Rider, The Godfather, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Good The Bad and The Ugly and Shane. OH and The Cincinnati Kid. OH OH and Bridge over the river Kwai B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 20 May 2008 - 01:05 AM.

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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:09 AM

I already posted this i the 'opening' thread, but my pick would be the long pull out at the end of Brazil (the real, depressing cut). It gives me a nasty little chill every time.
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#8 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 02:26 AM

The last shot of "The 400 Blows"! What a masterful use of freeze frame, the best use ever. I have never seen a film made before this one that ended in a freeze frame, although zillions of examples after this. Does anybody know if this is the first film to end with a freeze frame?





WARNING: SPOILER comment below:






SPOILER
Antoine Daniel, with no place to run, turns and BAM!
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#9 Tim Partridge

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 06:27 AM

Following my take on the greatest opening shot/sequence posted here, I would go for something both currently fashionable (in light of Indy IV), mainstreamy (I am unapologetic about that) and non-arty (too obvious a choice):

The greatest closing shot for me is from Douglas Slocombe in Steven Spielberg's "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Totally unexpected, incredulously humourist, frighteningly plausible, with both a great cinematic scope to it, scarse economic cinematography, yet incredibly powerful and impacting the viewer to leave the cinema with a sense of wonder - which is what the film is all about: not more, not less.


The closing shot of RAIDERS is a matte painting, and even the live action insert of the man pushing the trolley was shot at ILM by another DP.
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#10 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:36 AM

The closing shot of RAIDERS is a matte painting, and even the live action insert of the man pushing the trolley was shot at ILM by another DP.


Yes, I know - that's what I meant with "scarse economic cinematography" :P .

I think the loss of the art of glasshot mattes as being an integral part of practical cinematography and the relegation of its digital backlot descendants to effectively a post-prod desktop job pretty much uninvolved with the active act of filmmaking (what I call the "Lucas Way" of making films preferedly in post altogether) is generally underappreciated.
After all, many great shots over roughly 100 years of cinematography came into existence with the on-set puzzling together of glass plates and natural scenery.

To my knowledge, Slocombe and Spielberg developed and supervised the visual impressions of that the closing shot and directed ILM accordingly. Or do you have info that the folks in San Rafael came up with this ending independently and suggested it to Spielberg? That would be new info to me. I would love to hear about that, Tim, thanks!

-Michael
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#11 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:40 PM

Here's acouple:

'The Leopard'. Don Fabrizio, Burt Lancaster, is kneeling in the street outside of the house where the priest went into to deliver the Last Rites while a church bell tolls, at dawn. And we've just heard the rifle fire of the execution of deserters. It's so quiet and lonely after the big ball and all the other epic scenes.

'The Fall of the Roman Empire. A long shot of the Forum Romana with hundreds, if not thousands, of germans are being burnt in a holacaust in the left background, senators are bidding for the army in the middle ground and the hero and heroine are walking away in disgust in the right foreground.

Might as well add the end of 'The Searchers'. All of the couples enter the house, leaving Ethan standing alone outside & the door is shut on him.

Uh oh. I'm seeing a pattern here.
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#12 Mitch Gross

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 09:32 PM

Godfather, Part Two is pretty impressive, and there's always Antonioni's The Passenger for techinique. But I do think that The 400 Blows takes the cake for it's existential wallop. It caused such debate in it's time, I'm pretty sure it was a first of it's kind.

2001 was impressive as well; who knew the film would end on a religious statement?

Sometimes the simplest shots are the best. Karen Allen's face says it all at the close of Starman. Interesting that it is almost the exact same shot as the ending of E.T., which was the film Columbia didn't make because it already had an alien movie in Starman! But the precedent for these and many others like them is Chaplin's arguably greatest film, City Lights. When everything is in the eyes in a simple close-up so that the audience is connecting all the story/thematic/emotional points that culminate and crystalize at that moment, that's great cinema. Like Garbo at the end of Anna Karenina or the experiments of Kuleshov (sp?), sometimes it has absolutely no acting going on, which means that it is all in the direction to take you there.
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#13 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:28 PM

The last shot of Tarkovsky's Nostalghia has the kind of haunting beauty and emotional resonance that can stay with one for years. Actually the entire film has that kind of imagery (especially the black and white footage).

I remember being in Chicago one weekend and going to an art exhibit there on the "image of memory." I was delighted to see that they had this shot on a loop playing over and over again.
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#14 John Sprung

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 12:13 PM

Conversely, what are the greatest closing shots, ...

"The Third Man" -- I won't try to explain it, as I can't without blowing it for those who haven't seen the film. BTW, it was a pickup, shot not by Robert Krasker, but by the uncredited Hans Schneeberger.

I also liked "Raiders", as a purely visual joke.




-- J.S.
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#15 Tim Partridge

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:27 AM

Yes, I know - that's what I meant with "scarse economic cinematography" :P .

I think the loss of the art of glasshot mattes as being an integral part of practical cinematography and the relegation of its digital backlot descendants to effectively a post-prod desktop job pretty much uninvolved with the active act of filmmaking (what I call the "Lucas Way" of making films preferedly in post altogether) is generally underappreciated.
After all, many great shots over roughly 100 years of cinematography came into existence with the on-set puzzling together of glass plates and natural scenery.

To my knowledge, Slocombe and Spielberg developed and supervised the visual impressions of that the closing shot and directed ILM accordingly. Or do you have info that the folks in San Rafael came up with this ending independently and suggested it to Spielberg? That would be new info to me. I would love to hear about that, Tim, thanks!

-Michael


No idea who developed and supervised what visual impression. I just know the shot in question was a matte painting with inserts shot by someone else at ILM (last I checked- think there is an image of the trolley man in the original ILM book from 1985).

The digital backlot is just an evolution of matte painting, as far as scenery is concerned. Great work is done all the time. Checkout Matteworlddigital's website.
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#16 Steve Wallace

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 10:40 PM

Some great ones were already mentioned, I have a couple from Japan, both freeze frames. Sword of Doom (1966) & Yakuza Papers: Battles Without Honor and Humanity part 1 (1973), both after 400 Blows mind you ...
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#17 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:41 AM

Some great ones were already mentioned, I have a couple from Japan, both freeze frames. Sword of Doom (1966) & Yakuza Papers: Battles Without Honor and Humanity part 1 (1973), both after 400 Blows mind you ...


Onibaba is another, and a really great movie. It's from 5 years after The 400 Blows.
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#18 Jean-Louis Seguin

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 08:18 AM

One that comes to mind is the last shot of Sergio Leone's Once upon a time in America (the unbutchered version). Robert deNiro is lying on a cot in the opium den totally drugged up. He turns towards the camera which is high above the cot looking down at him and almost looks straight at the viewer and grins; the image freezes on his expression. This is like a wink at the audience that some have interpreted as meaning that everything we have seen beforehand might just have been a opium-fueled dream. Quite unforgettable.

Jean-Louis
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#19 Daniel Smith

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 10:16 AM

One of the endings that I always remembered,

Kill Bill: Pt 1


I thought the ending to Gladiator was also pretty epic.
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#20 Jake Vander Ark

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:30 AM

Babel. The father reconnects with his naked daughter on a Tokyo balcony, as the camera slowly pulls back... and back... and back...

This is movie that I find a bit sadistic and generally over-rated, but it has one of the most beautiful final shots of any film ever. Not only is it gorgeous, it sums up the theme film and it's technically jaw-dropping.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related
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