Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Movie Meme, Day 18: Favourite Title Sequence

Though I understand what a title sequence is, I wonder if end credits count. I was uncertain and didn’t wager to research (any musical with Rob Marshall or Bill Condon would win that battle). I’m not too interested in title sequences; they don’t really determine the film either way. I actually like when films are excessively sparse with title sequences – like The Departed or Atonement. All we get is a single title card that’s superimposed (or in the latter’s case – typed) and the film continues. Simple, effective and without pomp or scene.

That being said a nice jaunty title sequence does work – An Education and Down with Love come to mind. There’s the cheerful music, and the humorous sequences – it lifts your mood and you’re not even sure what the movies are about as yet. Then – there are the more sombre ones. I continue to hail last year’s Coraline is a testimony to animation for, for children and adults, done right and I love the title sequence. The needle makes the doll as the solemn music plays and we get a glimpse out into the night sky, and that aspect of creation reminds me of The English Patient – another sombre opening. We spend a good five minutes at least watching a paint brush work its way across a surface. When it was one of my banners, Castor was so kind as to compare it to pee stains from a dog…not quite. Eventually (if you watch the film) you’ll know that the paintings are of a fateful cave, but we know it’s something sombre nonetheless as Gabriel Yared’s brilliant score plays overhead. It’s simple to ignore title sequences but, whether it’s a single shot (sometimes brevity is important) or an elongated sequence they do have their significance, I suppose.   
All for the MEME (automated posting).


Luke said...

Glad you mentioned the Coraline one - gosh, that's probably the most frightening part of the movie! Definitely set the scene for the unique treat that was to come. And I said it once and will say it again - I constantly get that picture above confused with the opening sequence of Mulan. My apologies. :)

TomS said...

The English Patient is a great opening sequence, from the mysterious voice singing on the soundtrack to the hypnotic bit of painting.

I have so many favorites...ones that come to mind are "Psycho", "Cabaret", "A Room With A View", and "Persona".

Chase Kahn said...

"Vertigo" by a mile. I also love "The Wild Bunch", "The Getaway", "A Clockwork Orange"...

...And "Lolita" (the toe-nail painting) is really effective, if not overly flashy.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

luke yes, coraline began with creeping us out.

tom i thought about cabaret actually!

chase good choice all, especially lolita.

amy said...

You should really check out Forget the Movie, Watch the Titles xD A crowd's fave is always Catch Me if You Can with the kick-butt John Williams score. xD