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Favorite Opening Credit Sequence


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#1 Sean Azze

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 09:36 PM

I was thinking how much I love the opening credits to the Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski" (shot by Roger Deakins).

From the moment when a blank screen covered in bowling alley symbols opens up to reveal the back of a set of 10 bowling pins, I knew I was in for something fun.

I love the ECU of the ashtrays, the score cards, and the air vents. The shallow focus shot of the stereotypical bowler's gut waving in celebration of a strike is truly hilarious. And who could forget that tracking shot of a ball rolling down the lane right to the very end (seamlessly accomplished using some sort of remote control car if I remember correctly)

Oh, and the music kicks ass. A song so fitting for the scenario, you can imagine it playing over the loudspeaker of the alley.

Definitely my favorite opening credit sequence.
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#2 Wendell_Greene

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 09:44 PM

Se7en
Raging Bull
Anything by Saul Bass
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 11:33 PM

Se7en
Raging Bull
Anything by Saul Bass

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree. I also like the title sequences in Jeunet's films, particularly the tabletop titles in "Delicatessen".

Powell-Pressburger's "I Know Where I'm Going" also has a nice opening title sequence.

"The Shining" has an evocative title sequence. "Dr. Strangelove" also has a very symbolic & funny one.

Of the Hitchcock/Bass titles, I probably like "Vertigo" the most, mainly for the music though. Bass' titles for "Spartacus" were also very interesting.

I was blown away by the "Superman: The Movie" main titles when I was a teenager.

I also like how the title for "Silverado" comes up as the camera tracks out of the darkness of the shack to see the valley beyond.
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 11:45 PM

Se7en
Raging Bull
Anything by Saul Bass

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The closing credits of "A Hard Days Night" are fantastic and I liked the opening credits of "7" until I realised what it was I was looking at. Then I wanted to vomit in my popcorn. It was downhill from there. Guess you could say I'm a detractor.
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#5 Mike Welle

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 11:51 PM

Many of "The Pink Panther" movies have great opening credits. I can tell you what my least favorite (read, "most boring") credit sequence is. That would be "Speed," travelling down 30 flights of floors on an eleavtor--each one stopping to read a credit. Great movie, tedious credits.

Mike Welle


I was thinking how much I love the opening credits to the Coen Brothers' "The Big Lebowski" (shot by Roger Deakins). 

From the moment when a blank screen covered in bowling alley symbols opens up to reveal the back of a set of 10 bowling pins, I knew I was in for something fun.

I love the ECU of the ashtrays, the score cards, and the air vents.  The shallow focus shot of the stereotypical bowler's gut waving in celebration of a strike is truly hilarious.  And who could forget that tracking shot of a ball rolling down the lane right to the very end (seamlessly accomplished using some sort of remote control car if I remember correctly)

Oh, and the music kicks ass.  A song so fitting for the scenario, you can imagine it playing over the loudspeaker of the alley.

Definitely my favorite opening credit sequence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Edited by Mike Welle, 30 July 2005 - 11:52 PM.

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#6 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 12:05 AM

Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets: Nothing beats flying through the warner logo, then down through the clouds into surrey and into Harry's window. When you see that, you know the movie gonna be an epic one.

I also liked the way the camera zoomed back real quick to reveal the Harry Potter and the prisoner of azkaban title....

Those HP movies seem to have some of the best opening title themes I'v seen in a long time.
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#7 Gordon Highland

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 12:54 AM

of course, Se7en

Carnivale (TV)
American Splendor
Napoleon Dynamite
Six Feet Under (TV)
Catch Me if You Can
The Naked Gun
Panic Room
Adaptation (a black screen w/ V.O. and tiny text)
One Hour Photo
American Psycho
A Nightmare on Elm Street

and while they have nothing to do with graphical sequences, my favorite two opening shots are Boogie Nights, and of course, the ass-tastic Lost in Translation
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#8 Mike Lary

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 01:04 AM

Requiem for a Dream - Excellent rotting vine effect in the typeface, nice montage (and effective use of split screen) that tells the backstory and introduces us to the juicer infommercial. Beautiful photography, as well.

City of Lost Children also, not so much for the titles themselves, but the opening sequence with the Santa nightmare is brilliant.

I like the simplicity in A Clockwork Orange as well. The striking use of primary colors and the short duration of the sequence suites the film perfectly.
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 03:10 AM

Yes, I forgot about the credits to the first "Naked Gun" with the foreground police car roof and revolving light going through all sorts of locations, including a girls shower room. That had me laughing...
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#10 Jason Debus

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 04:18 AM

Any of the Maurice Binder Bond films. I think I'm especially partial to 'For Your Eyes Only' because of the water theme.

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#11 Mike Panczenko

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 09:29 AM

I have always loved the opening credits from "From Russia with Love"- also, if I'm not mistaken, a Maurice Binder creation. The projected credits on the bodies of the Gypsy belly dancers is a foreshadowing of what turns out to be several major plot points of the movie, but, more than that, it's just plain cool to watch!
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#12 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 10:14 AM

Not that I really have a favourite, but "James Bond" is memorable.

"Irreversible" is interesting.
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#13 Stephen Williams

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 10:46 AM

Not that I really have a favourite, but "James Bond" is memorable.

"Irreversible" is interesting.

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Hi,

Goldfinger was cool! remember it was over 40 years ago!

Stephen
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#14 fstop

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 11:37 AM

I have always loved the opening credits from "From Russia with Love"- also, if I'm not mistaken, a Maurice Binder creation. The projected credits on the bodies of the Gypsy belly dancers is a foreshadowing of what turns out to be several major plot points of the movie, but, more than that, it's just plain cool to watch!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


This was actually designed by Robert Brownjohn, Binder's assistant. Brownjohn also designed the titles for Goldfinger, which, incidentally, were photographed by David Watkin!

I am not a big fan of Binder's titles, they are horribly crude and smutty when they should be sexy and suggestive. The dayglo party poppers in the A VIEW TO A KILL title sequence are always refered to as an all time Bond low,Posted Image
while the bubbles and open ladies legs of the THUNDERBALL titles were all too easily sent up by Weird Al Yonkovic for Leslie Nielsen spoof SPY HARD.
Posted Image

What was Binder thinking here?:Posted Image


Oh, and can anybody tell me what Sheena Easton was doing in the opening credits of FOR YOUR EYES ONLY??!!:Posted Image


I much prefer Brownjohn's work, and also Daniel Kleinman's digital opening credits to the Brosnan Bond movies. And that's some feat, given that there hasn't been one GOOD Brosnan Bond title song! Kleinman is more intelligent with abstraction and montage imagery, and he can keep the ladies fully clothed yet have them scream sexuality with more class than Binder ever knew.

North By Northwest is a big favourite title sequence of mine. I also really like Lawrence cleaning his bike on Lawrence of Arabia.

It's funny this thread has popped up, because unfortunately nowadays filmmakers are encouraged not to pride their titles in the spectacular fashion of SUPERMAN, instead relegating them exclusively to the end credits! For everything it got right, the new Batman movie didn't have a title sequence- it didn't even tell you the name of the film until the end credits!! It's funny, because not long ago everyone was having those jittery, scratchy, largely unreadable "Imaginary Forces" title sequences that looked like something from a Nine Inch Nails video (think Se7en, Ally McBeal, Blade, etc):
Posted Image

Edited by fstop, 31 July 2005 - 11:41 AM.

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#15 Stephen Williams

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 11:54 AM

This was actually designed by Robert Brownjohn, Binder's assistant. Brownjohn also designed the titles for Goldfinger, which, incidentally, were photographed by David Watkin!

Posted Image

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hi,

I heard from Trevor Bond, who worked with Robert Brownjohn on the first 3 Bond movie Titles, that the belly dancer had to eat bananas before they filmed! He apparantly had to hold her ankles so she didn't move so much for close ups!

Stephen
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#16 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 12:30 PM

I quite like "Pi" , "The Island of Dr. Moreau", "La Dolce Vita" and "Elephant Man"
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#17 Daniel J. Ashley-Smith

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 01:10 PM

Hi,

Goldfinger was cool! remember it was over 40 years ago!

Stephen

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think the intro titles nowadays are made with digital FX, but in the older films they were all done with optical effects. Pretty amazing for the time.
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#18 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 04:19 PM

jules et jim

mean streets

office killer

imaginary forces' end credits to 'lost in space' -- perfectly appropriate for a self-conscious retro remake film

saul bass' 'to kill a mockingbird' -- generally credited for almost single-handedly creating the "default" title sequence technique of graceful xcus of inanimate objects as typography elegantly appears within negative space

kyle cooper's 'island of dr. moreau' -- though it's very well crafted, it's a complete ripoff of stan brakhage's films. also, approximately ten times more entertaining and involving than the actual movie.

kyle cooper's 'seven' -- though this unfortunately led to way too many films using the tabletop photography/scratchy typography technique

imaginary forces' 'sphere'

saul bass' 'cape fear' remake

love the simple & stark white on black title cards cut to the music for most of woody allen's films in the 80s. they really set the tone in presenting the film to the audience as "art" and subtley implies the concept of auteurship by using the same typeface from film to film

treasure island (1999) -- excellent faux-1940s titles on glass with cast shadows from a moving light source

best of all time:
saul bass' end credits for 'west side story' (and the opening overture animation was excellent as well)
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#19 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 05:13 PM

Bass's Spartacus is brilliant as David said. The Man With The Golden Arm is another good Bass sequence, but everything from him was pretty much up there.

The Bonds, of course. They all have some nice stuff in them. I though GoldenEye was a throwback to some nice in-camera stuff with all those crescents and hammers. Was that Kleinman?

Guilty admission: Passenger 57 has a very nice sequence.

Casino, of course. Panic Room.

Just about anyting from the 70's.

I am too saddened by todays films that completely bypass not only a title sequence, but titles at the beginning alltogether! It's very annoying - I like to see the key contributors presented.
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#20 sneeze proof

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 06:20 PM

I watched Constantine last night and I quite liked the effect of the titles being blown away.

Batman (the first one with Michael Keaton) was cool.
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