23 Things I Know About Opening Credits: 1-8
I like my opening credits like I like my 'unelectable' U.S presidential candidates: in the 70s and with big ideas.
Here's the first lot.
1. Le Doulos (1962) Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Whenever I duck underneath a low bridge on aimless Regents Canal walks, this is what I see and hear. It's also what I think I look like. Yes, Serge Reggiani in a Fedora and trench coat. It's my only white man lived - experience. Now it can become yours too.
2. Coonskin (1975) Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Human Swiss Army Knife Scatman Crothers, this time pulling out his trusty bluesman blade, commits ukelele assault and battery. Right there in broad daylight (aka Jeanne Lee - Conspiracy colour palette). Camera didn't see a goddamn thing.
3. The Holy Mountain (1973) Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
Pataphysical pandemonium, yet rather measured and ritualistic in it's Kubrick-levels attention to detail. I can never decide which is most impressive, the Alchemist's perfectly synced-up double dress-yank, his head-shaving or Alejandro's jump cuts. Any way you slice it, the entire sequence feels like a declaration of war on the prosaic and pedestrian. "Sit yo ass down, unsuspecting viewer. You ain't going nowhere for the next 2 hours."
4. F for Fake (1973) Directed by Orson Welles
S for Sagacious or P for Pretentious: seemingly the only takeaways when F for Fake is on the menu. Then again, if you cast yourself as the all-knowing, ever-lurking illusionist in your 'docu-essay' on forgery, deception and the unreliability of authorship, you best believe there will be haters.
I'm in Camp Sage and that cannot be unrelated to being taken hook, line and sinker right at the front gate. It's a lil' stalky, lil' pervy, lil' "er...not in 2020"...but...but...Michel Legrand's lil' bossa waltz....i mean, riddle me that?
5. The Tall Blonde Man with One Black Shoe (1972) Directed by Yves Robert
There are more ideas in this 1 minute 55 seconds than in the entirety of Tom Hanks' unfunny-even-for-him remake, The Man with One Red Shoe.
6.Even Dwarfs Started Small (1969) Directed by Werner Herzog
Shot on an island in Lanzarote, Herzog's tale of confined dwarfs fed-up with their living conditions, violently rebelling against their keepers is fucking unsettling. When one dwarf refuses to name the participants in said rebellion, he is ordered to hold a placard with a serial number for his mug shot, a wailing folk song (Herzog recorded it in a cave) ensues and right there you know you're in Herzog's world now. Buckle up.
7. Husbands (1970) Directed by John Cassavetes
As is usual, Cassavetes' characters spend much of the screen time grasping at something that feels authentically real and behaving like degenerates - albeit complicated ones - along the way. If you don't feel Gazzara, Falk & Cassavetes or any of their fraternising, then you'll despise this film. If you do, you won't. Help is at hand though, for there are two litmus tests you can take before the plunge: that appearance on The Dick Cavett Show and this opening montage.
That's Ray Brown on bass!
8. White Men Can't Jump (1992) Directed by Ron Shelton
His old man was a preacher. He loves this shit. So do I. Venice Beach, Bill Henderson, Jon Hendricks, Sonny Craver...what else you want? Here's what. That the damn clip started 20 seconds earlier. Then you'd get that JB's/Mandrill sounding twist on the 20th Century Fox theme (now that would have taken this ALL the way out)! I know these things. I used to watch this film every week when I didn't know no better. Enlightenment is fraught with joylessness.