Erie/dreamy Opening Credits

There’s nothing wrong with taking pleasure in aesthetic beauty. That’s what I say to keep myself from feeling superficial as I admire the color and font choices of my favorite 1960’s and 1970’s thriller credit sequences, and save the images onto my computer to later become backgrounds and lock screens for my laptop. But the truth is, a lot of thought and craftsmanship goes into creating these film openings. I personally feel that beauty is a key component of horror, just as life is necessary to understand death, or how you need love to hate. Now you might not find these film picks horrifying, per say, but I do think that they spur a sort of fear in one way or another. Whether that fear is brought about by identity, pregnancy, puberty, or the unknown, I believe all such motives of fear are legitimate.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Dir. Roman Polansky

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“It begins with [sings the creepy music that plays over the opening credits], which showed me that the way to start a horror movie is to give people a hint of where it’s going to go. Even if you move away from that menacing tone for a bit, people know it’s coming back… My mother told me the thing that makes this movie so great is that it may be the only movie that captures the feeling of being pregnant—the insecurity, the fear, the paranoia, the feeling when someone tells you, ‘Oh, that’s just the chemicals and the hormones.’ That feeling of being placated. It’s a film about gender; it’s about men making decisions about women’s bodies behind their backs. – Jordan Peele [check out this great conversation from The Criterion Collection]

Valerie A Týden Divu (Valerie and Her Week of Wonders) (1970) Dir. Jaromil Jireš

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Erie music plus an interchange of dreamy imagery with simple text make for a gorgeously haunting credit sequence for this coming-of-age pohádka film.  “irresistibly it combines some very soft-core delights with the trappings of horror”  – Jana Prikryl  source

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) Dir. Peter Weir

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I’m in love with this mysterious film about the disappearance of teenage girls and a governess while on a St. Valentine’s Day outing in the Australian bush, directed by Peter Weir, who’s also responsible for Dead Poets Society, another intense coming-of-age film. “Less a mystery than a journey into the mystic, as well as an inquiry into issues of class and sexual repression in Australian society” source

There are, after all, things within our own minds about which we know far less than about disappearances at Hanging Rock. —Peter Weir, Sight & Sound, 1976 

[Peter Weir reminisces about how the project first came to him and faithfully adapting the 1967 novel by Joan Lidsay]

3 Women (1977) Dir. Robert Altman

3 Women

3 Women in 3 words: abstract maternal mysticism

I know I can’t cover everything that makes this film amazing, so I won’t even try. But in regards to the opening, when I watch it I get this feeling of being in a deep sleep, not knowing if I’m awake or still dreaming. Which makes since because Altman once told a journalist “I’m trying to reach toward a picture that’s totally emotional, not narrative or intellectual, where an audience walks out and they can’t say anything about it except what they feel.”

“3 Women emerged as such a seamless weave of image, sound, story, and character that no plot summary can do it justice. Ideally, it should be watched and pondered more than once, since many moviegoers find the film so utterly outside the cinematic frameworks they’re familiar with that they wonder if its tenuous narrative (especially the deliberately indefinite ending) has passed them by, or isn’t really there in the first place.” – David Sterritt source

 

 

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