Opening and closing scenes are the well-polished bookends of cinema.
Some fantastic title sequences may belie a film’s overall quality but, generally, they have the power to snare you from the off, keeping you hooked before knocking you out with one final powerhouse scene.
For proof of that, scan your retinas over this mesmeric video edit, compiling 55 movies and laying the first and final scenes right next to one another. The edit comes from video whizz Jacob T Swinney, who treats us to a unique look at some of the most critically acclaimed films of our time.
There's a lot to be gleaned, because, as the man himself puts it, “Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different - both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film.’
Even the biggest cinephiles might be surprised at how regularly opposite sides of the celluloid overlap. Take a look for yourself below.
(SPOILER ALERT: the copyright-baiting video happens to include recent films including Birdman and American Sniper. You have been warned.)