Opening Shot Project – The Player

By Jason Haggstrom, May 17, 2011

Opening Shot Project - The Player

"The opening shot of Robert Altman’s ‘The Player’ establishes the film as a self-reflexive deconstruction of the Hollywood system and those who run it. With its prolonged shot length, the take is also designed as a means to introduce the bevy of players who work on the lot and to setup the film’s general plot—or at least its tone—as a thriller/murder mystery."

So begins my essay on the opening shot of Robert Altman’s The Player, just published over at Jim Emerson’s Scanners blog as part of his ongoing "Opening Shot Project."

Head on over to Scanners to read the full piece and to join the conversation.

You can view the opening shot itself below:

The Movies of my Childhood, Coming in 2011: Wolverine

By Jason Haggstrom, November 27, 2010

The first issue of the 1982 limited series, Wolverine, starring the popular X-Men character of the same name was the first comic I ever bought off a comic store wall. For those who are unfamiliar with comic shops (yeah, I know, that’s most of you), the method of displaying prominent, pricey back issues used to be hanging them on the wall behind the counter in what amounted to a giant mural of comic covers arranged in a grid that went from floor to ceiling and from one edge of the wall to the other. This was an incredibly cool way to showcase comics. As a kid, when you bought an issue off of that wall (and left a hole in the collage), it made you feel like some kind of comic-acquiring rock star. When I saw the first issue of the series with Frank Miller’s cover drawing of Wolverine in close-up, beckoning an unseen opponent to step forward and meet his demise, I knew I had to have it. When I finally cracked open the book, its classic opening line only re-confirmed that I’d made a fantastic purchase. "I’m the best at what I do. But what I do best isn’t very nice." That’s some serious attitude. That’s Wolverine. Or, at least that was the Wolverine of the comics, especially in the first decade of his existence.

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