Let's just call amazing titles sequences as we
see feel them: artistic foreplay. Sex-on-reels. I'm talking aesthetics, here (calm down, p0rn 'stache).
The best openers will have you fully immersed and off to another world faster than you can say “Presents…”
And if it’s a fantastic closing sequence, you will think you’re about to leave the movie theater, oh, but you are not. Within a matter of a few hundred frames, you suddenly cannot move from your seat no matter how badly your bladder is screaming about that three hour epic fantasy you just sat through (yes, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, we are watching Y-O-U).
So the heavy petting continues: you are reluctant to say goodnight. You want another kiss, another embrace, just a little bit more to keep you where you’ve just been for the past few hours: soul-deep in feeling, in imagination in transcendent levels of creativity.
The time-warp, the freaks, the geeks, the twists, turns and portals… Winona’s big comeback. A silver foxed Matthew Modine. We are all up in those ’80s feels because it is such an authentic depiction of an era. All the way down to the tiniest detail – like that John Carpenter’s The Thing poster in a table top D&D club’s basement den right where it belongs.The creators of the titles sequence knew exactly what they had to do to take us full-throttle, too: blend practical effects with digital and depend heavily on the most analog sounding music fit for vinyl or cassette mix-tapes as possible.
The end result: we want to stay there, we can’t stop going there. Please: MakeItStranger! Put. It. On. Repeat.
Question: The show is such a divine retro-mix of story, writing, character development, set design, creature effects, music score, incidental tunes (hello The Clash!) and wardrobe. But without those opening titles, would it be nearly as burned into our collective pop culture retinas…?
Another question: as a genre geek or child/adult of the ’80s, what were some of your favorite pop culture gems?