|Shadow of the Vampire (2000)|
|The opening three images focus gradually to the intricate design|
in the middle of the door
|An instance of the interlocking Gothic designs that appear throughout|
|Note the design, which certainly appears to be some sort of evil eye-|
it is most prominent when Dafoe's name appears, as he plays the villain.
|Examples of the beautiful Gothic-inspired frightening designs|
|More Gothic imagery|
Which is, of course, the whole point of a title sequence, especially a title sequence for a more serious, or even frightening film. The title sequence, which is accompanied by a haunting score, helps set the horror tone of the film. At the same time, the sequence also draws viewers into the haunting mystery of the film to come.
|The Art Deco homage is clear|
I'm almost reminded of Saul Bass's title sequence for Vertigo. With its beautiful, but mysterious swirls, Vertigo's sequence is by all counts eerie, but at the same time it is strangely beautiful. Not of course, that I'm comparing the designer of Shadow's title sequence, a seemingly equal mysterious John Goodinson to Saul Bass, but he certainly masterfully applies the same techniques.
The end result is altogether unsettling, but altogether appropriate. There is no doubt that any semi-conscious viewer will realize a few things. First, the film will pay homage to the Art Deco days of silent cinema. At the same time, they realize it will be a dark mystery- eerie by intriguing- and most definitely horrifying. And if any title sequence, no matter when it was produced, can achieve that result is a small masterpiece of its own accord. I can't speak for the film- yet- but I can say that if the film is anything like its opening titles- it is worth your time.
By the way, in case any of my more classically-inclined readers were wondering, I will be concentrating on more classics in the near future. I realize I've covered more modern films in the last couple weeks, but I promise classics soon- no fear!