On Sunday night, we will see the iconic Game of Thrones opening credit sequence for the last time in Season 6 before the show returns next season. As much as I enjoy the show, I absolutely love the opening credits that pack in so much detail and nuance about the story and where most of the action will be happening that season. Add to it the impossible to ignore title music and you have all the ingredients of a memorable title sequence.
Title sequences can be iconic because of their design, the information they pack in about the movie or show they are introducing, or a combination of the two. I have decided to pick 6 other favorites of mine below, from both the TV and the movie world. Have fun.
On the design front, there are many sequences that stand out, but for its sheer hypnotic effect, my favorite is Saul Bass's design of the opening of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.
2. Catch Me If You Can
A Saul Bass like effect, but with plot elements of the movie foreshadowed, is the opening sequence of Catch Me If You Can, a caper based on the true story of Frank Abegnale, Jr. set in the 1960s. The 60s feels is evident in the opening and sets the mood well for the film to follow.
3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Another iconic way to open is the James Bond style, with a song and stylized credits. All Bond movies are quite good in that department (Skyfall with Adele's vocals was particularly impressive) but my pick is a non-Bond movie - the opening credits of David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; not least because the song - a remixed version of Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song - is a personal favorite.
And finally, we arrive at opening credits that pack in a heck of a lot of information in themselves. In fact so much that just watching those 3 or 4 minutes is akin to watching a short film by itself.
4. Silicon Valley
My picks in that department include the TV show Silicon Valley, whose opening is chock a block with tech industry references and developments in the real Silicon Valley (the latest season, for example, has an Uber and a Lyft balloon jostling with each other as you see Yahoo!'s billboard become smaller and Alibaba's become bigger). [A great explanation of all the references can be found in this Wired article]
5. Lord of War
Among movies, I can never forget the start of Lord of War where Nic Cage plays an arms dealer. The "story of a bullet" sequence is stunning as it is sobering.
6. The Kingdom
And I finish the list with Peter Berg's The Kingdom. The first four minutes offer a fine recap of the evolution of the equation between the United States and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The film is ultimately so-so, but the opening sequence alone is probably worth the price of admission.