Paolo completely wrecked my day a few weeks ago when he said that he preferred Cruel Intentions to Dangerous Liaisons, so immediately following a look at a Christopher Hampton film last week (with Atonement) I figured I might as well look at Dangerous Liaisons this week. It presents an even more interesting challenge, because we move into the realm of films which are so seamlessly created that the word “opening” seems especially arbitrary. Incidentally, like Atonement, the key – for me – in deciding on what was the opening was tied to the music. And, although it’s nowhere near as obtrusive as Marianelli’s work in Wright’s film the music in Dangerous Liaisons is excellent (and Oscar winning).
I have a clear and pervasive love for Dangerous Liaisons (it’s the source of email address, after all). Before I actually started this feature I’d decided that I’d only feature the scenes occurring after the credits, but I’ve realised that that doesn’t necessarily constitute the true opening – especially with a film like this...
Incidentally, that isn’t the actual first shot of the film, but it’s the first significant one. It’s not particularly ingenious, but I do appreciate the glossiness of the font and the concept of having the letter motif be the way we see the title. Letters are important to this one, as are words – even though the opening is devoid of any conversation.
And, then, of course there’s notion that the Marquise and the Vicomte are two sides of a single coin. So, we shift to him – before we even know.
I don’t remember the opening blurring the lines between the two characters as much. You’re not even certain that you’re dealing with two people immediately.
But, goodness, these people are pampered.
...and then shift back...
It’s so odd that with all the material she has on, her breasts seem barely covered.
I've said it time and time again, film is a visual medium - and if a picture is worth a thousand words, what could I possibly say to enhance these photos?
Even a clothes ignoramus like me can appreciate the detail...
Isn’t it nice how his entourage just watches him go?
In a way, I suppose, the opening is a bit gratuitous but really, that's the sort of the point in a way. All the sumptuousness is necessary because the characters are gratuitous and are just luxuriating in their...well, in their wickedness. And, isn't that precisely the sort of opening you'd except from something like Dangerous Liaisons?
Despite the lack of words...isn't this opening brilliant?