Have I re-watched David Fincher‘s The Girl With Dragon Tattoo since watching it twice in late 2011? Due respect but no. I’ve watched The Social Network six or seven times; ditto Se7en and the Zodiac director’s cut Bluray. But I can let Tattoo go. And yet loved the opening credits, which came out of a collaboration between Fincher, Blur Studio’s Tim Miller and Kellerhouse, Inc.’s Neil Kellerhouse. (I’m presuming, by the way, that the opening credits for Fincher’s Gone Girl are going to be phenomenal.) I’m not saying that Tattoo is unfulfilling or unsuccessful — it’s somewhere between an entirely decent and very good paycheck thriller — but the titles exist on a higher aesthetic plane, largely because this sequence is the only completely original aspect.
Why am I mentioning this? To revive an old-saw topic, i.e., films that try but can’t compete with their opening-credit sequences.
The Saul Bass title sequence for the old Ocean’s Eleven (’60) is much, much better than the film; ditto the ending sequence with the downhearted Rat Pack strolling along the Strip to Sammy Davis, Jr. singing a slow, downbeat version of “Eeyo Elven”. No one’s ever cared that much for Clive Donner‘s inane, anarchic and not particularly funny What’s New, Pussycat? (’65) but the animated main-title sequence, designed by Richard Williams, is wonderfully silly and raucous and…what, champagne fizzy? In its own dopey way it gives you a faint idea of what it was like to repeatedly get lucky and have great sex, over and over and over, in ’65. (A Bluray version streets on Tuesday.)
I’m not talking about main-title sequences that are perfect or fitting introductions to the films that follow, like the opening of Chris Nolan‘s Memento. (Whatever happened to “that” Chris Nolan? I’d really like to meet up with him again some day.) I’m talking solely about main-title sequences that that are so much better than the film it’s not even funny.