For over a century, audiences have been enthralled by the flickering images projected onto cinema screens. Since the beginning of film, viewers have witnessed iconic imagery that would stay with them for the rest of their lives. These are shots composed in such interesting ways as to tell a story themselves, or use techniques to make something about the shot different and memorable.
Editor Jacob T. Swinney has compiled the most iconic shots by going through 100 years of film (from 1915 with Birth Of A Nation to 2015 with… well, that would ruin the surprise). By sifting through award winners, classics, and cinematically progressive films, he finds shots that continue to resonate through the years. As Swinney describes it:
A journey through the past 100 years of cinema—the most memorable shot from each year (in my opinion). While many of these shots are the most recognizable in film history, others are equally iconic in their own right. For example, some shots pioneered a style or defined a genre, while others tested the boundaries of censorship and filmgoer expectations. If anything, I want this video to be a reminder as to why we all love cinema so much.
The video is a surprisingly touching tribute to the power of film, instantly transporting viewers with each cut to that time and place when they first saw the film being featured. It’s also impressive in that it shows how the language of film has evolved over time, becoming both more complex structurally while always retaining that emotional immediacy. There are some surprising inclusions (looking at you, Dirty Dancing), but mostly these are the shots that have stuck with cinephiles and audiences alike for generations.