on April 10, 2008
If you have any interest in opening title montages you have no choice but to order this book today.
Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the narrative alongside the lovely images grows a bit weary. Really, what can you say about how cool a montage looks if you aren't entirely sure who did it, or what was happing when it was created.
Still, most of the commentary is relevant and insightful. The picture quality is excellent. The enclosed CD is a bonus; I literally haven't had an opportunity to view it, but I'm sure it's going to only add to the experience.
on March 23, 2008
At last a book I've waited some years for. With more than three hundred credit sequences (so hundreds and hundreds of images) this is a feast of visual goodies. The ten chapters reveal a history of the movie in the movies. It is sort of chronological though many newer credits are mixed in with historical ones to indicate a style, like chapter four that looks at titles as logos: Gone With the Wind or Pulp Fiction where the type is overlaid on an image background.
The text runs in small sections throughout the pages but I kept on getting sidetracked by the images and their captions. The original words have been translated from Spanish which could explain the rather flowery style but its clear the authors have done a lot of research and obviously expressed their opinions, too, especially in the long captions.
An amazing two hundred designers have their work included. The great Saul Bass has nineteen credits, Kyle Cooper, Maurice Binder, Ferro Pablo, Dan Perri and Richard Greenberg are the other designers who get a good showing. Those that only have one or two credits (in the book) can still deliver a punch though, the credits for Thank You For Not Smoking by Shadowplay Studio are quite stunning or Marlene McCarty's lovely period work on Far From Heaven.
The book really is a treat but I found it had some annoying inconsistencies (so four stars) like the contents spread that had no page numbers, no, really! There is a designer index but no movie index. In a book like this I would have thought both were essential. The book's design shows a tendency to designer whimsy: the page numbers at the bottom right of the page are in sets of three with the last number (for the next page) running off the page to give the impression of motion...as in a movie? The bibliography is a huge list of websites and a few books. So many of the sites will be redundant long before the book is.
Included with the book is a DVD with 119 credits, an obvious plus factor for me but they are in QuickTime so no watching it on the big screen in the lounge and from those I've looked at they seem second or third generation quality. Incidentally the DVD is rather loosely inserted into an inside back cover page and if you are buying the book pre-used it will be worth checking with the seller that the disc is included.
Despite the disappointments above I'm pleased to have this book and I think it will be a well thumbed edition over time.