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Opening credits

[ 2010-08-04 15:58]     字号 [] [] []  
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Opening credits

Reader’s question:  Remember when movies announced themselves with elaborate opening credits? Could you explain “opening credits”?

My comments:

Credits here are a list of names of people, not the credits you get at a university for completing a course – you’ve got to earn enough of them to get a diploma.

In the opening of a movie, on the other hand, “credits” (acknowledgment or compliments) are given to people who’ve made major contributions to the making of the film, or a TV programme for that matter.

For example, if you’re watching Annie Hall (which I did once, again, the other day), a 1977 Academy Award winning comedy by Woody Allen, you’ll see some of these opening credits:


Woody Allen (Alvy Singer)

Diane Keaton (Annie Hall)

Tony Roberts (Rob)

Carol Kane (Allison)

Paul Simon (Tony Lacey)…

Written by

Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman

Directed by

Woody Allen

At the end of a film, of course, there’s another longer list of “closing credits”, sometimes lasting four, five minutes, creeping up at a snail’s pace giving compliments to virtually everyone involved in the project, from the makeup artists to the sound mixer to transportation captain to the janitor….

Perhaps not everyone who’s helped to hail for a taxi is credited, but it matters little because by then all cinema goers will have arrived home.

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Go to Zhang Xin's column


About the author:

Zhang Xin has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.