Stan Brakhage’s “Mothlight” (1963) Above and “Cat’s Cradle” (1959) Below
The last few years I have been fixated on opening titles in TV and film especially those that were created by Digital Kitchen for “True Blood”. “The Sopranos” followed by “Six Feet Under” seem to have started this aesthetic in titles for the cable networks but I feel like there was one film in the 90’s that really launched the title revolution for mainstream films. If you saw the Brad Pitt Gwyneth Paltrow film “Seven” in 1995 you should remember the amazing opening title sequence. They had a beautiful grainy, jarring film quality that to me mirrored 50’s and 60’s experimental shorts like those made by Stan Brakhage who painted on film. I still recall vividly my reaction to the “Seven” titles years ago and how much I loved them when I first saw them. The influence of the Brakhage films especially can be seen in the “True Blood” sequence. They are all brief poems and seem to tell the whole story in one quick breath if you pay close attention. I miss playing with a Bolex, they’re hard to find these days.