Filmmakers have understood the value of an unforgettable last shot since at least 1903, when Edwin S. Porter ended “The Great Train Robbery” with a scene divorced from the main narrative in which one of the outlaws comes back from the grave, stares down the lens of the camera, and fires a couple of rounds directly at the audience. In many prints, that footage opened the film, but the fact that it’s since settled into its place at the end speaks volumes as to its profound effect as a coda. Like the final sentence of a novel, the closing image of a film has the power to color the entire narrative, echoing just a little bit louder than everything that has come before it.
There’s a unique weight to the last shot – a burden, but also a sense of infinite possibility, as though the cinema inherently realizes that its greatest potential doesn’t live on screen but rather in those who stare at them, the moment at which a movie hands its narrative off to a viewer one of the great cruxes of the medium’s power.
I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public wants. You play what you want and let the public pick up on what you’re doing? even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.
If the sun were to explode,
you wouldn’t even know about it
for eight minutes
And nothing in the world
gives me a heavier heart
than knowing I wouldn’t be able to reach you
before the world went dark.