Friday, June 13, 2008

fade in:

I love the Cinema. Generally speaking, I give a film about 20 minutes to pull me in before I fidget and move on to something else. Not that I have anywheres to go really.

Mostly, it all has to do with the opening sequence. Sometimes it's all I need to stay with the picture show.

Three minutes into Citizen Kane is that eye-opening 'News On The March!' which follows a one word whispered opening. I'm hooked.

A young child's box of wonders opens To Kill A Mockingbird (title created by Stephen Frankfurt), including a closeup of what seems a seeing eye marble that rolls its way clear, with an unobtrusive theme by Elmer Bernstein that returns only at the end of the film.

Hitchcock's Rear Window is always near the top when I make out my top 10 favs of all time. The blinds slowly open, then the camera pans slowly to show the entire courtyard, and we seemingly hear the city and feel the relentless heat.

A catchy tune is enough. I admit it. Nilsson's breezy rendition of Everybody's Talkin' works in perfect step in introducing us to Joe Buck, and we can't help but to keep following the adventures of that dumb Midnight Cowboy.

But my all-time favorite opening sequence is from Oliver Stone's JFK. Backed by the drumming of John William's brilliant score, with a historical montage intertwined with newly shot footage of events leading to that horrific event, I'm pulled in to a fascinating flic!


Any fade ins that capture your fancy, Dear Reader?

8 Comments:

Blogger willow said...

One that immediately comes to mind is the opening of Howard's End. The camera is following Vanessa Redgrave, in a gorgeous victorian dress, swishing through the long grass outside her her English country house. It is just beginning to get dark and she can see her family, laughing and playing games inside the lighted house. Breathtaking.

6/14/2008 10:55 AM  
Blogger the drifter said...

I don't know how I've missed that film, Willow.
It has all the elements I love: Merchant/Ivory, Hopkins & Emma, plus Vanessa.

Vanessa's piercing blue eyes at the end of Atonement were astonishing.

6/15/2008 1:50 PM  
Blogger Edward Hegstrom said...

The title sequence of 2001 never fails to take my breath away.

6/16/2008 4:48 AM  
Blogger Blog Princess G said...

You know, I've never seen JFK, but now I have to!

Still pondering that questions... it's a really good one.

6/16/2008 6:15 AM  
Blogger Bill Stankus said...

Patton
Vertigo
O Brother Where Art Thou?
Star Wars I

6/16/2008 2:56 PM  
Blogger david mcmahon said...

G'day from Australia,

Now that I am a photographer, I look with so much more appreciation on great on-screen camerawork.

6/16/2008 6:37 PM  
Blogger the drifter said...

edward...yes! 2001 is one of those movies where I never blink.
Thanks for visiting my sketchbook. :)

g...great cast in JFK, including a great cameo by John Candy.

bill...I love how Star Wars opens...completely forgot about that one. And Patton..geez, how could I forget!

david...a thousand welcomes. When you mentioned 'photography,' it reminded me immediately of that Astaire/Hepburn dance in the darkroom from 'Funny Face.' :)

6/18/2008 7:06 PM  
Blogger Blog Princess G said...

Days of Heaven.... those old sepia pictures to the sound of Saint Saens... I love that movie so much.

7/21/2008 10:02 PM  

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