Friday, 22 January 2010

Panic Room - Title sequence analysis

The title sequence begins with ambient sounds such as wind, creating an almost mystical sense before we've actually been introduced to any image. The shot fades to black before any credits are shown, with a siren off a police car or an ambulance maybe, connoting that of an inner city, which appears in the shot next. The title of 'Columbia Pictures' is shown in a silver font in front of a background of high rise buildings, and what looks to be the Hudson River, connoting that the film is set in New York. This shot lasts a few seconds however establishes the setting already, and a slight zooming in can be seen before a cut to another title of another production company. Non-diegetic music takes over from the ambient sounds, with what sounds like violins or cellos playing, suggesting intensity and drama. Behind the writing, a medium shot of old and modern buildings, with the streets and cars below, connotes a sense that we are getting nearer to the city itself, rather than looking from afar. A slight low-angle shot of the cream coloured buildings under the blue sky could suggest that of safety, as for a thriller, broad daylight with the sun shining is quite unconventional in the aiming of disturbing the audience. However, the setting could cleverly contrast with what is to happen later in the film. The main character's names appear, first with Jodie Foster, with half the typography being cast in a shadow from the architecture of the sky scrapers, connoting good and bad. The name Dwight Yoakam is centred lower, into the streets of the city, with billboards and vehicles in the background and below. As well as the non-diegetic music that takes a more sinister not when the title 'Panic Room' appears, the sound of cars and traffic can still be heard, creating a sort of realism and depth to the opening. The title of the film appears larger than the other titles, connoting its significance, and it is reflected in the window of a stylish modern block. There is the sense of claustrophobia which links directly and quite cleverly to the basis of the film, the panic room itself. When the name of 'Kristen Stewart' is shown, the non diegetic music quickens, with the sound of ticking suggesting that of intensity and suspense. The New York setting is definitely established when the image of Times Square is seen, along with a billboard of a happy man and woman, which sets a contrasting mood from the anguish in the music. A high angle shot of another title is above a street, showing the iconic New York taxis along with people and other cars. I think the way the titles appear is particularly effective as it seems as if they are actually there, but the people and traffic are oblivious, like the panic room in the film, people don't know it's there. Another high angle shot of what looks like a cathedral is seen, with the 'music by..' title in the foreground, at a tilt and in alignment with the way the building is facing. People can actually be seen walking and are much more distinguished than before, connoting the point that we are reaching nearer to the action and beginning of the film. The final shot before the opening sequence is in a park, surrounded by autumn trees and once again the high rise buildings, with the final title of Director above the peoples' heads, casting a shadow onto the grass. Just before the title sequence ends, the sound of a woman's voice can be heard, establishing the beginning to the film.

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