A memorable opening scene can make a great first impression on a moviegoer. As they stare at the screen, willing to be hooked on the images projected (or streamed), the audience wants to give themselves over to the allure of the sound and imagery that hopefully is on the path to enveloping them. Some opening scenes tell a completely isolated story in their own right, while others provide a jumpstart for the narrative that has yet to unfold. Some play an important role in shaping or recontextualizing the conclusion of the story, while others showcase alluring designs while text acknowledging the filmmakers fill out the corners of the screen.

Bringing movie lovers together in a digital space for community and conversation, this week’s edition of our Community Corner asks what your favorite opening scene in a film is. Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) and Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds) were the directors most often named, while Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, and Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard were the films most often cited.

Film at Lincoln Center’s theaters have reopened, welcoming moviegoers back to our theaters for the first time in over a year. Though we were able to connect our cinema community to Film at Lincoln Center programming through the launch of our FLC Virtual Cinema, which will continue to provide access to films nationwide, there’s nothing quite like seeing a movie with fellow patrons (socially distanced!) illuminated only by the glow of the big screen. As we’re currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of New Directors/New Films check out this year’s lineup to find your new favorite beginning.

See what’s playing and coming soon in our theaters and the FLC Virtual Cinema, and familiarize yourself with our reopening health and safety protocols. Stay connected to Film at Lincoln Center by joining our online community on InstagramTwitter, Facebook, or Letterboxd, and don’t miss a thing by subscribing to the weekly newsletter.

Do you have more suggestions to add to the list? Share with us on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, and stay tuned for more conversations on cinema.