Friday, 21 January 2011

'Watching' Documentary

Thomas Sutcliffe likens the introduction or title sequence to a film to a flirtation between the director and the audience, 'films need to seduce their audience into long term commitment. While there are many types of seduction, the temptation to go for instant arousal is almost irresistible' this is a notable point, an introduction should tantalise the audience, not release the whole story, otherwise by the time the film is over they will have forgotten the beauty behind the title sequence and simply remember being bored by a film they have already seen in the trailer. Director Jean Jacques Beineix believes this is dangerous as you must continue to this standard. 

A good beginning should intrigue the audience, however not give away all information, yet leave the audience gasping for more...
'A good beginning must make the audience feel that it doesn't know nearly enough yet, and at the same time make sure that it doesn't know too little' 

Film critic Stanley Kauffmann also described what he would consider the classic film opening, including an establishing shot (usually of New York) then a shot of a specific building, as the camera zooms upwards to a window, passes the receptionist and continues through to the office of the man who will be the hero of the film. This is not really going to work for a thriller, however establishing shots are often key in title sequences, such as in Soul Bass' North by North West. 

The documentary then talks about the title sequence to... Se7en, which I shall just write about briefly before you close the page and never look back, various critics in the documentary believed this title sequence gives many unclear hints as to what happens later in the film, and right away directs the audience's mind set to that of the film. This makes me want to watch it, but also puts me off a bit as the title sequence is quite creepy..

Orson Welles wanted to cut out the title sequence for his film 'A Touch Of Evil' however the studio placed music and credits over his film. Welles wanted to submerge the audience in to his film without giving them time to get in to a certain mindset for it. This would have been particularly effective, but the studio won, however they did receive a large memo from Welles advising them to change it. 

Martin Scorsese directed the film Casino, with the amazing title sequence, however the film actually started before this, but the start of the film was in fact the end, confusing in writing, beautiful on screenplay!

The documentary then analysed the Shining title sequence, however I have spoke soo much about this being effective already...

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