Alfred Hitchcock and David Fincher have made remarkable thrillers, and they have also been responsible for some wildly imaginative title sequences. This video essay by Susana Sevilla shows us how, as filmmakers have transitioned to digital filmmaking, the images they present us with have changed as well. Savila focuses on contrasting the angular, stylish titles of Psycho or North by Northwest with the more surreal, dreamlike sequences of films like Se7en or Panic Room. Both directors’s openers are disorienting, certanly; they bring us from the day-world outside the theater into the night-world within it, and they drive home that what we are watching on the screen is not real, never will be real, and will force us into direct contact with the more discombobulating parts of our imaginations. Because the directors are using different tools, though, their ways of easing us into the strange dream of their movies is different; a different visual language is being spoken by Saul Bass in the older films than the one being spoken by Kyle Cooper in the later films. Whatever the language, though, this well-researched piece makes a concise point deftly and elegantly. Watch it, and behold title sequences that are like small movies by themselves.
Watch: Title Sequences: The Leap from Alfred Hitchcock to David Fincher