Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Probably End After Season 8, But HBO Is Open To Prequels & More The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

Watch: 11-Minute 'The Film Before The Film' About The History Of Opening Credits

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist August 19, 2014 at 12:31PM

Like artful movie posters, opening title sequences have been largely cast aside by an increasingly stats-obsessed studio system that cares little for the long and storied cinematic tradition. Sure, there are a few that still practice and revere the art —hello David Fincher and Edgar Wright— but if a credit sequence is made at all, it’s bumped to the end, as is the case with most blockbusters. A short documentary, “The Film Before The Film,” has been making the rounds online and it serves as both an introduction to and a welcome reminder of the power of opening credits.
1
Se7en Opening Credits

Like artful movie posters, opening title sequences have been largely cast aside by an increasingly stats-obsessed studio system that cares little for the long and storied cinematic tradition. Sure, there are a few that still practice and revere the art —hello David Fincher and Edgar Wright— but if a credit sequence is made at all, it’s bumped to the end, as is the case with most blockbusters. A short documentary, The Film Before The Film, has been making the rounds online and it serves as both an introduction to and a welcome reminder of the power of opening credits.

At just under twelve minutes, the short by Nora Thös and Damian Pérez takes the viewer from Thomas Edison‘s utilitarian use of a text board in 1897 to show his company’s name and copyright note through to Saul Bass’ iconic work and finally ending with Gaspar Noe’s infamous title sequence for “Enter The Void.” It’s makes us wish for a feature-length documentary on title sequences, especially with an extra look at the work being done on the small screen where the tradition seems to be alive and thriving.

So while opening credit sequences might not be a prevalent as they were before, there’s still some good work being done, and with “Gone Girl” hitting theaters later this year, more sequences as such are yet to come. Watch the “The Film before The Film” below, as well as some of our favorite recent title sequences from both the big and small screen. Be sure to share some of your favorites with us.

This article is related to: Documentary, True Detective, Skyfall


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates