My love of Bond is unending. Till the day I die the man will always be my favourite cinematic character and the movies will be burned into my memory. Anyway after waxing lyrical there, I’m getting to the crux of this post. The title sequences of the Bond movies are parts that I always look forward to because of their visuals and seductive images. Today I’m going to be discussing my opinions on the five title sequences that have made an impact on me, along with the music that accompanies them. Also this post is a tribute to the stellar work of Maurice Binder, Robert Brownjohn and Daniel Kleinman.
The third film of the series and my personal favourite, Goldfinger has some really iconic images in the title sequence. Set to the seductive sound of Shirley Bassey belting out the stunning title track, the sequences features women painted with gold as footage from the movie is projected onto them. There is something sinister but also very sexy about this sequence, and lovely ladies would feature heavily in almost every title sequence that followed. Maurice Binder, who created the sequence to the first movie, was unavailable and so this sequence was done by Robert Brownjohn, who does a commendable job at it.
You Only Live Twice:
Maurice Binder was the king of the title sequences because of his innovative work and spellbinding imagery. A lovely example is his work for You Only Live Twice. Taking cues from the oriental setting of the film and important plot points involving a volcanic air base, Binder fashions a haunting sequence complete with geishas, spider like parasols and overflowing lava. Twinned with the beautiful title song, the sequence has a distinct dreamlike quality of lush romanticism with orange and red forming a passionate but dangerous core.
Live and Let Die:
Along with the tempo changing song that ranks as an absolute classic, the dark title sequence of Live and Let Die made its mark on me as a child and it has been hard to forget. A changing colour scheme,fire,body paint on curvaceous ladies and voodoo paraphernalia bring out the dark side of the Bond movies in an exciting format that sizzles with excitement. Maurice Binder crafted a winner with this sequence.
Daniel Kleinman stepped into the shoes of Binder with his first effort for the movies as Bond was making a comeback to. He reinvigorated the sequences once more with modern technology and CGI. GoldenEye is a delightfully tongue in cheek sequence with lingerie wearing women destroying Soviet monuments, a two-headed women to reference duplicity and gold a plenty. Kleinman really began to incorporate the main themes of the story into the sequences which is something that impressed me. And all these elements are topped off by a powerful Tina Turner song.
The World Is Not Enough:
Kleinman creates an unusual and psychedelic sequence that is both slightly disturbing and weirdly erotic. Globes spin, oil derricks pump in unison and women are formed, covered or falling into oil. Once again Kleinman chooses to really dig into the themes of the film for visual references. It’s all very peculiar and arresting, and the languidness suits the slinky title song from Garbage.
All of the title sequences have merit to them, but the ones I have discussed are the ones I hold dear. I hope it had made for interesting reading.