This past Friday I braved the opening night crowds to go see the latest Marvel confection Captain America: The Winter Soldier. And I have to say, after a full day spent on the phone with both UPS and Amazon trying to track down packages (if you have never had to deal with this, take a moment right now to thank your lucky stars), going to see a movie where things go "Kablooey!" was exactly what I needed to unwind.
The movie was definitely better than the first...not quite on the level of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy (then again, how many are?)...but a good time nonetheless. What I really loved and got my wheels turning was the end credit sequence created by Sarofsky. It was graphic and awesome - and sadly I have no images to prove my point as the film has just hit theaters BUT the Imax movie poster above does echo some of the black and red graphic-y awesomeness of the end credits. Sarofsky's design reminded me of opening credits that had an equally bold take on graphic imagery: Cath Me If You Can by Kuntzel + Deygas and Mad Men by Imaginary Forces -- both of which have a lovely (and period appropriate) Saul Bass influence.
A great title sequence can be as deeply satisfying as the film itself. I can most accurately compare it to a well done cooking reduction, in that the film has been boiled down to its most essential elements with one heckuva punch of flavor. It has the ability to capture the audience and introduce it to the world and themes of the film both cinematically and musically.
Much in the same way that TV is taking over as a creative cinematic force (sorry feature films...but you know it's true!...at least for the time being), so too is the power of its title sequences. Two shows' sequences that knocked it out of the park are True Blood and Dexter, both of which were created by Digital Kitchen. It is a testament to their creativity that Digital Kitchen was able to make such completely different title sequences, which so perfectly captured the mood of each show. Both are dark and at times horrific but while True Blood is steeped in Southern gothic, playing off of strong religious, sexual and predatory images, Dexter manages to turn one man's precise morning routine into an up-close and unsettling experience:
So....I'm going to go binge on more title sequences now...because, why not? Let me know if there's any you think I absolutely have to see!