Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film 'Key & Peele' "Substitute Teacher" Sketch to be Developed as a Feature Film New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) New Documentary Will Trace History of "Black Dandyism" (Trailer) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Best Performances By Black Actors/Actresses Ever? (Survey) Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Tyler Perry Studios Forms Film, TV & Infrastructure Alliance w/ 4 Other Major Atlanta Studios Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series HBO Orders Steve McQueen's 'Codes of Conduct' to 6-Episode Limited Series Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Rob Hardy Launches Rainforest Entertainment + Taps Mitzi Miller for Head of Development at New Company Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" 'Single Ladies' Returns Tonight to a Rebranded Centric - "The First Network Designed for Black Women" What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

'The Film Before The Film: An Introduction To The History of Title Sequences In 10 Minutes'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 25, 2013 at 6:11PM

'The Film Before The Film: An Introduction To The History of Title Sequences In 10 Minutes'
1
Do The Right Thing

A short history lesson here that I landed on my virtual desk and that I thought was worth sharing. 


It did also remind me of an old piece I wrote on the old S&A site 3 years ago or so, on memorable title sequences. And the one that I highlighted with was Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.

It's a film that stands the test of time, and the 4-minute title intro alone could be its own film (the film before the film). Rosie Perez, fueled by the Chuck D's coarse, urgent voice and lyrics, and Terminator X's beats, literally fights the power, as the tracks title suggests. 

Her colorful (literally and figuratively) dance routine exudes a range of emotions - simultaneously oozing sexuality and sensuality, combined with a confidence, vulnerability and ferocity, all in an expression of power and struggle, clueing the audience in to what kind of a ride to expect for the subsequent 2 hours. 

And I think this will always be remembered as one of the most unforgettable opening title sequences in film history. No CGI, no elaborate camera movements, no trickery. It's simple enough, but it works! 

And when the 4 minutes ends, you're sufficiently open and invigorated for whatever comes next. 

Refresh your memory of it all in the video clip below, and then answer the question that follows: Any other memorable title sequences from "black films" that you can think of? 

But first, here's the short documentary history of title sequences in movies - from the simple informative usually white text on black backgrounds in the very early silent days of cinema, to the changes that came with the advent of sound film, when they started to become more personalized, to the introduction of computer generated graphics, to becoming the form of high art that they are today - or the film before the film. 

The short informative doc was a research project at the Berliner Technische Kunsthochschule.

Watch it below, and then, underneath you'll find Rosie Perez fighting the power:




Shadow & ActNewsletter