Every title has a story to tell: SEVEN (1995)

How many of you adore watching titles in the films? Because, Here in this blog post I am going to give a textual analysis of movie titles, which has the certain hidden meaning of theme and tone of the film. To study, I am choosing the ‘Title Sequence’ from the great movie ‘Seven (1995)’ directed by David Fincher.

In the movie ‘Seven.’, The title comes after three minutes of the expositional opening scene. The title director Kyle Cooper brilliantly crafted the movie title, as it gives a small insight into the movie. The title draws the audience in and hooks them; it intrigues the viewers in the way of wanting to enjoy the rest of the movie and also find out how the taster of the movie at the starting is relevant and how it connects with the rest of the movie. The movie Seven contain horror elements as the case involves a series of murders and each murder corresponds to seven deadly sins, namely wrath, lust, pride, gluttony, envy, sloth and greed.

During the title of the movie Seven, the first shot is a book from the front in black and white, but, there is a changing of colour schemes to the photos after the book is shown. The change of colour schemes is from black and white to red, the red possibly be representing blood or violence. The details of the pages of the book are not shows, although the pages are filled with rough sketches of hand handwriting in the form of a note. The pages of the book can be seen as old, thin and frazzled as they flicker each other, and later a hand appears in the background leading to grasp the pages in its grip, but details are shown only little of the book. The identity of the characters hand also is not revealed.

1

The titles are put in the negative spaces. This means that they have put the titles n the spaces where the audience would clearly be able to see them. There are little snip-its of actions happening which give the audience insight into what’s going to occur in the film. The name of the director is introduced into the title sequence from a high angle shot of two large, veiny and unlike human hands placed In a drawing board. The hands are drawn to scale, and the drawing is shown in the dull and dark light, i.e., again not much detail is revealed.  The shot of the hand starts to fade out after a light pans and lead to other credits, and lots of other quick and sharp establishing shots are presented of fingers and palms.

9.gif

Some jagged pieces of sharp metal with rough zig-zag edges, but some with ends filled down to sharp point comes across the camera. The link between the identity of the person of the fingers, the hands that are used in the drawing, and the person’s hand touches the pages are not revealed. The title confuses the audience showing that they are the same person or different characters all linking togeather as they may have something in common to do with the events that are yet to be revealed in the movie.

As soon as an actor’s name appears, for example, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, it shows them doing and action close-up. It only shows their hands or fingers. This allows the audience to see how they act and what they are like in the film.

2

The sound establishes the genre of the movie Seven, i.e., the sound of the title sequence adds to hook up the audience in and also shows that the genre is a horror thriller. The title sequences’ sound felt like a mystery and withdrawn from detail, a person watching it can hear a constant building up in the background of what is unsure.  However, from the sound, viewers are almost confident that the events that will take place will be twisted in suspense and unkind deadly blood-chilling ending.

The title of the film flashes and looks disoriented which adds to the effect of the thriller genre, and it looks fragmented.

3

The images are blended with one superimposed over the other. The flickering words and lines make the sequence even more chilling as it looks like they are meant to be there. The background sound gives the audience some knowledge of the title sequence because the visuals that come across created a suspense of the flickering images of a plan about to happen.

5

In between the title, there was a very fast flicker of which showed the title of the film. This is effective because it shocks the audience.

6

There are some quick cuts from each action to another, which makes the sequence intense and have a suspenseful atmosphere. The same font and size are used all throughout the title sequence. This makes the sequence continuous. The credits are also entered the same way on the screen every time. A lot of the shots are layered on the top of others which suggests that there are a double meaning to what is happening.

7.gif

Most of the actions are in black and white, but some have a bit of red in them. This may emphasise that there will be danger in the film and possibly blood. Some of the actions that are shown may be cringey for the audience as something you would not do, for instance, earlier on we saw someone cut the skin of the fingers with a razor blade. This makes the audience feel uncomfortable to watch. In the end, it quickly transitions into the first scene of the film.

8.gif

The place where the scene takes place is very quiet to the point of you could hear the sound of a pin drop, but the sound added in the post production is non-diegetic which adds to the overall gothic and dark atmosphere of the title.

Too many movies devalue the narrative potential of the title sequence, either by rushing through them or not making use of them to any effect but slapping names on the screen. Perhaps this is because most of the viewers see it as a non-essential portion of the movies. To be frank, I have seen people use this time to grab another bag of chips or refill their soda before the movie start.  However, when this part is properly used, a great title sequence can be effective at setting the pace of the as any other scene. The title can be memorable as any acted scene that follows it. Many movies utilised this time, for example,  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)North By Northwest (1959),  Vertigo (1958),  Fight Club (1999).

References:

  1. Fincher, D., (2017). Fight Club (1999). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0137523/ [Accessed 7 May 2018].

  2. Artofthetitle.com. (2017). The Look of Saul Bass. [online] Available at: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/the-look-of-saul-bass/ [Accessed 8 May 2018].

  3. Artofthetitle.com. (2017). David Fincher: A Film Title Retrospective. [online] Available at: http://www.artofthetitle.com/feature/david-fincher-a-film-title-retrospective/# [Accessed 8 May 2018].

  4. Winter, M. (2015). Watch: Title Sequences: The Leap from Alfred Hitchcock to David Fincher. [online] IndieWire. Available at: http://www.indiewire.com/2015/01/watch-title-sequences-the-leap-from-alfred-hitchcock-to-david-fincher-133145/ [Accessed 8 May 2018].

  5. Fincher, D., (2017). The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/?ref_=nv_sr_3 [Accessed 8 May 2018].

  6. Hitchcock, A., (2017). North by Northwest (1959). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053125/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 [Accessed 8 May 2018].

  7. Hitchcock, A., (2017). Vertigo (1958). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052357/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 [Accessed 7 May 2018].