When Movies End Abruptly
A look at what happens when a movie leaves viewers with cliffhangers and unexpected endings.
For my video essay, I tried to think of movie endings I remembered that have an abrupt cut to black. After I assembled nine examples, I paused to think about what they all had in common. They are cliffhangers. They often come at a pivotal moment in the life of the main character; when they have to make a life-altering decision. Or they come at the moment of death. Then I recorded narration to explain to the viewer what was special to me about these moments.
The title of the video essay, "...And Then I Woke Up," is not just a direct quote from the final line in No Country For Old Men. It also symbolizes the transformation an audience member undergoes once the film ends. Abrupt endings can be unsatisfying, but they are always fascinating.