Anything Saul Bass did..
Hey did anyone mention Lord of War?
The title sequence documenting the life of a bullet from its production to the final kill was one that instantly had me commending the film.
I just finished watching Kurosawa’s “Stray Dog,” which has a really effective title sequence of a dog panting. The dog’s head fills the screen, and he’s just panting and panting, looking completely worn-out and desperate and about to die from heat, not to mention possibly rabid.
Interestingly, according to one of a featurette on the disc, an American SPCA representative was so positive that the dog had been injected with rabies that Kurosawa literally had to go to court and state that the dog had simply been heavily exercised in the summer heat. (He later said this court case marked the only time when he was sorry the Americans had won the war,)
Anyway, this poor dog provides a very simple yet stark image for the rest of the film, which involves the pursuit of a killer on the run.
I like the Pablo Ferro films titles for the opening of Peter Yates’s Bullitt. The crawling transparent letters (within the letters, you see a different image).
The Graduate with Dustin Hoffman on the airport treadmill seemingly going nowhere.
Bonnie and Clyde with the white letters turning red foreshadowing the extreme violence which we see later in the film intermixed with what appears to be period photos of the Barrow Gang.
Catch me if you can, thank you for smoking, the pink panther movies, psycho, lord of war, the bond movies, Bunny lake is missing, Fahrenheit 451, kiss kiss bang bang, American Psycho.
Ira… you are right… any of Saul Bass work for Hitchcock.
Gone With the Wind
Written in the Wind
That’s Entertainment II
The Age of Innocence
Anything stunningly graphic or I guess sensory-rich yet condensedly informative about the realm we’re about to enter: MANHUNTER, CASINO, THE WILD BUNCH, SE7EN (no doubt), and, man, THE HOUSE WITH THE LAUGHING WINDOWS. Oooo, and Lynch has gotten really good at this too…MULHOLLAND DRIVE.
Howard Hughes (Jason Robards) screaming across the Nevada desert on a winter’s night on that motorcycle … [Melvin and Howard, Jonathan Demme, 1980]
Se7en, Catch Me If You Can, Once Upon a Time In the West, just about anything Saul Bass has done.
Seven. It set the mood perfectly for what was about to come in the film without giving too much away.
SE7EN particularly sets the mood because it hooks the audience with more direct, almost first-person info about the film’s elusive serial-killing protagonist—his habits and rituals—than the the viewer will get for the following hour and a half that Fincher devotes to depicting the aftermaths of John Doe’s machinations and the detectives scurrying to get a step ahead of them. Perfect bait. Mad smart.
There are a lot, but right now i think Carlos Reygada’s Stellet Licht opening sequence.
Catch me if you can
Bela Tarr’s films.
Has anyone mentioned the Bond title sequences? Essential.
This seems to be the perfect topic to mention the title appreciation website “The Art of the Title Sequence”.
Kiss Me Deadly, for helping to tell the story in the titles themselves.
“North by Northwest”, although “Seven” really had an impact on me when it first came out.
From what I’ve seen… “Mulholland Drive”. Just wonderful.
@ Albo: thanks! is perfect
I just remembered how fond I am of KWAIDAN’s opening too with the colored inks. Copped later for the discarded BLADE RUNNER opening in the workprint.
House Of 1,000 Corpses
Escape From New York
and of course, Quantum Leap
2001: A Space Odyssey.
Mon Oncle Antoine (1971) mostly for the absolutely beautiful song,
Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
Art of the Title’s latest feature: Fetishistic Advocacy for Speed in Titles
Bonnie and Clyde
The 400 Blows
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
Dog Day Afternoon
Apocalypse Now (even though there are no titles)
The Royal Tenenbaums
It may just be the music, but “Deadlier than the Male” is my favorite as of late.
Mean Streets is a great one.
I have to agree with Touch of Evil and Finding Forrester — “I’m the kind of nigga that will cap ya while your sitting in your chapel.”