An opening title or intro sequence can set the mood for the rest of the entire two hours of a film. Sometimes it’s an introduction to the storyline or main characters like in A Hard Day’s Night or Watchmen, or it can just be a graphic-type treatment over separate elements or details of the film’s environment like in 2001 or Seven.
Below are some of my all time favorite openings. This is not a definitive top ten list in order, but rather an overview of several that have stuck with me over the years (this year’s Melanchola just blew me away). There are several other film openings that come to mind as well like Annie Hall, A Clockwork Orange, Apocalyse Now, Wings of Desire, Absolute Beginners, Vanilla Sky, Pi, Dr. Strangelove and even Saturday Night Fever. Some of these were not available for posting, plus I decided not to include multiples from any one director. I also passed on some of the classic designers like Saul Bass who did Psycho, Vertigo, The Man with the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder and many others. So without further adieu ….
2001: A Space Odyssey – Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Seven – Directed by David Fincher
Manhattan – Directed by Woody Allen
A Hard Day’s Night – Directed by Richard Lester
Melancholia – Directed by Lars Von Trier
Watchmen – Directed by Zack Synder
Raging Bull – Directed by Martin Scorcese
The Graduate – Directed by Mike Nichols
8 1/2 – Directed by Federico Fellini
The Player – Directed by Robert Altman
Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Directed by Quentin Tarantino