10 pages + bibliography. Times New Roman, font size 12, single spacing.
You are asked to analyze the Opening Shots of 6 films of your choice (roughly two pages devoted to each film).
Analysis should include describing such formal elements as the opening titles and credits of each movie as well as the initial opening shots. What is their meaning? How does the director grab his viewers’ attention? What is the significance and symbolism of the opening sequence in relation to the rest of the film?, and so on.
Opening credits can be seen as a collection and presentation of aesthetic, legal and industrial forces. They serve not just as a gradual lead into the film, immersing and bringing the viewer into the film’s world, but also as an active barrier to such immersion because their presence itself reminds the viewer that the film is a product (it shows the credits of those who made it). Opening titles humanize film by showing an individual’s name, rather than a corporation/production company’s name. There are different registers of titles – those that reach out to engage the audiences, and those which focus on the titles themselves. Think whether credits contribute to the entertainingness of the title sequence or opening shots (if the opening sequence is too entertaining/distracting – no one will pay attention to the titles; on the other hand, if the title sequence is too boring, people will leave their seats to get popcorn); consider the typography design; how the titles engage or play with us; why some studios use end credits scenes as marketing (advertising the next film or hinting at the sequel), etc.
To better understand what I mean by analyzing the title sequences refer to this website: http://www.artofthetitle.com/
Above I offered you some general guidelines, but the content will be yours. Naturally, try selecting films with interesting openings and intriguing title sequences that will give you some food for thought (please, don’t use “James Bond” or other movies that have already been subjected to interpretation)!
Moreover, since this is an Eastern European cinema course, I ask you to use 2 films that originated in Eastern Europe (you may include Russia or any other state from this region), but were not screened in this class. Any time period. Any country. Any director.
2 other films should be coming from Hollywood (can be any TV series from Netflix, if you wish). Again – any production from the past hundred years will do.
Finally, any 2 Western European (for example, French New Wave or contemporary flicks) or Asian films.
In total – 6 films (2 + 2 + 2). If you feel you have some space left, you are welcome to add more movies.
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