Friday, February 29, 2008

Opening Credits Sequence Theatre: A Fistful of Dollars

I've complained in the past that more and more films these days are skipping completely over opening credits sequences, and the trend continues. It's not that I think these should be mandatory, but the way they set mood and help transition the viewer into the film's world makes them a useful tool and I'd like to just call attention to that now and again. So, without any regularity whatsoever, I induct this new feature, calling attention to good opening credits sequences as I find them on various video-sharing sites.

First up, Sergio Leone's groundbreaking FISTFUL OF DOLLARS:

The cartoon shilouettes have an iconic quality to them, adding a weird postmodern quality- this is not the real American west, but the Wild West as filtered through old movies, fumetti, and pulp novels. It's crude and it's violent and it's fast, as emphasized by the driving nature of Ennio Morricone's score (accented with gunshots and gibberish vocals.) This really sets the theme for the whole "Dollars" trilogy and arguably all of Leone's westerns; the reality didn't interest him nearly as much as the abstraction.

I'll post more of these depending on how easy it is to find them- some studios are quicker to call copyright infringement than others, so I'll see what I can get away with.

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