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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Detailed analysis of an opening title sequence : RESEARCH ©

Analysis of the opening title sequence of Memento (2000)
In class, we watched the opening credit sequence of the film 'Memento'. At the beginning, we are shown the production company, 'Newmarket'; the company that produces the film. This emphasises them and creates a brand identity for them. No music is accompianied with the ident, which could be to draw the attention to the company. There is a repeat of the companys name with the text, 'Newmarket presents...". Founded in 1994, 'Memento' was Newmarket's first ever production, released in 2000. Moreover, the repetition of the company allows them to have recognition as a production and distribution company. Following, we're further shown two more P&D companys, Summit Entertainment and Team Todd, which are associated with the making of the film. Thereafter we see who directs the film (Christoper Nolan) followed by the main actors. Why do we see the director of the film before the actors and the actual title? Surely the title of the film should be the most important, therefore should be shown first? This is possibly Nolans way of saying there is no film without the director, moreover emphasising his position in the making of the film. This is further shown by the repetition of his name during the credits, under the name 'Screen play'.

 Shortly after we see the title of the film written in big letters and the black background fades out to what appears to be a hand holding a photograph of a blood-splattered wall. In contrast with the slow cello/violin music, it makes you wonder; what genre is this film? Perhaps the credits were previously shown with a black background to heighten interest in the audience. What's interesting about this sequence is that although the background is bland we are still drawn in. This could be due to the evenly spaced out cool blue font, which has connotations of sadness. The credits are evenly paced out which also evokes a sense of suspense in the audience. As the credits go on and the movie continues, it is only a minute or two after the sequence that we realise that it is playing backwards, due to the photograph fading into white. This heightens the tension and questions our minds.

In conclusion, I think this is a semi-effective opening title sequence. It isn't clear what the genre is, a Thriller doesn't really come to mind when watching. However, the title matches very well with the mise en scene, which is of a photograph, a memento.

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