Sunshine-breezy this late-afternoon Sunday here in California’s Central Valley — rain expected again mid-week.
In an attempt to shy away from the horrific horror of American politics (T-Rump/GOP) and the horrific horror of American weather, this a post on movies, specifically, a movie’s opening sequences, beyond just the credits but also includes a sequence of events igniting the start to a narrative in one way or another. Or be like in “Pulp Fiction” (1994), offering a reveal at the beginning while actually being at the end.
One of my kids back in the 1990s coined the family phrase, “comings on,” to describe the opening segment of a movie. They’d say something like this one particular movie had “neat comings on.” I found it cute, and just adorable.
Although most-likely there’s a way-shitload of movies with hefty, nifty openings, my list today is a short, short one, especially since I’m not more appreciative of certain movie genres, like horror or fantasy, and skipped through my mental film catalog containing bits and pieces of certain movies down through the ages — most-likely a huge chunk of my 74 years has been spent in love with movies, commencing probably in the late 1950s, cranking up in my early teens, becoming a certifiable cinephile by high school (although I usually don’t like to use the word, ‘cinephile,’ it sounds nefariously perverted, this time, okay), and the beginnings are a good introduction.
Wikipedia: ‘A title sequence (also called an opening sequence or intro) is the method by which films or television programmes present their title and key production and cast members, utilizing conceptual visuals and sound (often an opening theme song with visuals, akin to a brief music video). It typically includes (or begins) the text of the opening credits, and helps establish the setting and tone of the program. It may consist of live action, animation, music, still images, and/or graphics. In some films, the title sequence is preceded by a cold open.‘
And what got me really started on this post was a re-watching of the opening to “La La Land” (2016) last week — although I’ve viewed this clip a shitload of times, I’ve seen the movie all the way through only once. A good film, great everything, but really, really sad. A bummer to be exact, and there’s too much of that shit already out and about.
However, this dance/musical number is a wonderful Southern California wonder on so many levels:
And in the realm of iconic movie openings, “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968): I saw ‘2001‘ in a New Orleans Cinerama-equiped theater — mind-blowing, yeah:
Next, and in the space of time contained within red-and-blue pills, “The Matrix” (1999) as Carrie-Anne Moss kicks some ass and really, really nails it:
In line to a new beginning to a forever series, Daniel Craig’s first take at James Bond: “Casino Royale” (2006), and scored greatly as this crazed-ass opening run sequence provides:
Next, a look at three years ahead, if Republicans win, T-Rump is president, and women’s rights are totally, absolutely eliminated, “Children of Men” (2006), a future closer than tomorrow:
And an opening sequence that at the time scared the living shit out of a Flordia boy who really, really enjoyed swimming in the warm Gulf of Mexico, “Jaws” (1975) caused an involuntary, though, a terrible, terrible fright of water:
And seemingly “Pulp Fiction” at the end. though, just an intro:
As I mentioned above there are tons and tons of other movies like this, but I’ve got such a shortlist off a short brain pattern, this is all I’m capable of here on a weekend ender.
If you’d like or want, check out at BuzzFeed from July 2021, and at MovieWeb from this past July for a much longer list of such subjects as movie intros.
Bonus: Open sequence and credits to one of my way-most-favorite movies of all, forever time, “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), and the majesty of Maurice Jarre’s music is still so incredibly emotional:
Clipped set-ups, or not, here we are once again…
(Illustration out front: ‘Shelter in the Storm,” found here.)