What is your favorite movie opening credits sequence? Over the years, it’s become common for cinephiles to compile lists of the best, most distinct title sequences, and praise such innovative designers as the renowned Saul Bass (the man behind the opening of Vertigo and Goodfellas) and Pablo Ferro (Dr. Strangelove, Beetlejuice). In the short video “The Film Before the Film,” Berlin students Nora Thoes and Damian Pérez recall all of those iconic cinematic aspects and more, chronicling the evolution of the opening credits from the simple to the technically complex, and back again.
Featuring side-by-side comparisons of designs, a brief account of the impact made by computer technology, and easy-to-understand explanations of the various ways in which titles function as a part of the film experience, “The Film Before the Film” is visually arresting as well as informative. Featured films run the gamut from a 19th-century Thomas Edison short to The Avengers.
The essay also touches on the ways in which today’s title sequences have blended the old with new technology, as with Catch Me if You Can. Though not mentioned in the essay, the credits for the just-released Oz the Great and Powerful offer further proof of Thoes’ and Pérez’s observations.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.