Sunday, April 8, 2012

Takin' it fast- - - - - - - - - motion in opening scenes

I like to keep my promises. In my first post for my series on Elements of Opening Scenes That Grab Our Attention (3/22/12), I responded to a post in a series Thursday's List by blogger Tom Bielby on the blog Front Room Cinema, the Top Ten Slow Motion Opening Scenes. I promised to come back in my next post with some examples of opening sequences that use fast motion to capture our pulse. Here are three:

The first example is from Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance (1982), an independent film by Godrey Reggio with a music score by Philip Glass. It's ironic that this film, my first example for the use of fast motion, is almost wholly made up of the use of slow motion. So this sequence has a particular resonance as it perfectly reflects of how elements in the opening scene are critical to the film's development. Please take a look for yourself.

The next example is from Go (1999) by Doug Liman. The sequence is in some ways antithetic to the first example in Koyaanisqatsi where the stress of living in a big city and in a technology infused  society is prominent. Instead, Go features the drive to escape from it. With this reaction, comes the reality that the escape is fantasy and temporary: the misuse of alcohol and intake of illegal chemicals at Rave parties used to seemingly take away stress, ends up bringing us back to a harsh crashing fate, one that can leave us with the bowl around our heads or spending a night or nights in jail, or even in a casket at too young an age.


This last example is just plain fun, makes obvious use of fast motion, and features who else but James Bond. The opening of Quantum of Solace (2008) is just the recipe to take away my daily troubles. They will all be there when I return, but I won't be any the worse for having taken the break from them in this manner.

For a future post, I'm excited to think about matching up this last example with some other great high speed car chase scenes.

Til then why not take a break from your daily grind? Read a good book or watch a good film and enjoy a little respite.