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Opening sequence of Salesman

by Critical Commons Manager

The opening sequence of the Maysles Brothers' classic observational documentary Salesman makes no attempt at concealing the presence of the filmmakers or the constructedness of the documentary. The opening sequence in fact introduces each "character" in the film (Bible salesmen) and identify each of them with a nickname "The Rabbit," "The Badger," etc. The film title itself also make a dramatic appearance, emerging from a nighttime road scene along with the headlights of an oncoming car. It would have been impossible in 1968 not to associate the night-for-night aesthetics of this opening sequence with film noir, even though this highly constructed genre of Hollywood feature films would seem to be the antithesis of a documentary that otherwise aims to present a detached and more or less objective portrait of its subjects.

Salesman opening

The introductory sequence to the Maysles brothers' documentary Salesman

from Salesman (1968)
Creator: Maysles Brothers
Distributor: Maysles Films/Criterion
Posted by Critical Commons Manager