Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes
June 12, 2018
LACMA | Bing Theater
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Lecture and book signing by Columbia Film Professor Annette Insdorf, including film clips.
Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes offers insights into more than 40 films, covering a unique amalgam of high-profile titles and undiscovered gems. From American classics like Apocalypse Now, Taxi Driver, and Schindler’s List to foreign films including Hiroshima, mon amour, The Piano, and A Separation, they demonstrate how a great movie provides in the first few minutes, the keys by which to unlock the rest of the cinematic text. In addition to establishing the tone—which can be tense, ironic, romantic, frightening, comic, nostalgic, or self-conscious—the opening introduces meaningful motifs. The book results from Annette Insdorf’s vast experience teaching film history and criticism at Yale and Columbia. It refines her search for the internal coherence of the movie (does it succeed within its own terms, as established by the opening?), and for the film's resonance beyond the frame.
A book-signing at the LACMA Store with Annette Insdorf follows the program.