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French titles '50s-'80s.

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Irréversible

designer: Gaspar Noe1 comment

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This title sequence of the most controversial French film from 2002 can easily hold its own next to the great classic ones.

Here's a title sequence with a monumental, commanding impact due to intelligent typographic interventions, razor-sharp editing, and pulsating motion graphics. The sounds and music are meticulously chosen, including the strategicaly placed moments of silence. It's astounding how, with these simple means, a haunting atmosphere is evoked. Here, a title sequence transcends its mere function, to become an artform in its own right.

The tension between perfection and distortion is interesting. A feeling of discomfort starts to settle in as the vertical titles start to slope, before tumbling across the screen. A Hitchcockian tune ensues, followed by a mysterious still image, tumbling. The pulsating credits in the second part of the title sequence are accompanied by a large drum beat.

In Irréversible's story, time is inversed and scenes from the past and the present are interweaved. With the title sequence, Gaspar Noé employs inversion as a formal strategy by flipping letters and words to create a sense of suspense, urgency, and fear. You just know that something big, something profound is going to happen.

Year of production

2002

Title designer

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About Gaspar Noe

Gaspar Noe

Gaspar Noé (1963) is an Argentinian-born French filmmaker, best known for his 2002 masterpiece Irreversible. Noe is often praised for his original approach – formal but experimental, provocative and philsophical. Citing the works of Stanley Kubrick and Gerald Kargl as major influences, he is often aligned with the taboo-breaking New French Extremity breed of filmmakers, pre-occupied with the dark and violent underbelly of society. He likes to take care of his own title sequences, a practice which, strangely, is almost unheard of, with most directors preferring to leave it to the professionals.

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Full credits

Director (film)
Gaspar Noé

Music
Mahler, Beethoven

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Comments (1):

23 Oct 11 • by: Arjay
Good job miakng it appear easy.