I remember seeing the film se7en in the cinema when it came out. Apart from the pretentious alphanumeric title and the repulsive tortureporn vibe, the thing that struck me most were the credits. They were like a rock video. Jittery, buzzing, energetic, packed with attitude. And the best part of the film as it turns out.
When the first Daniel Craig 007 film came out, those credits were the best I'd ever seen. They were hypnotic. A shifting maze of colour and movement and danger. Which was no small feat given they came after arguably the best Bond prologue ever.
I thought they couldn't be beaten. But the most recent Bond film's opening titles left me gaping. The blood in the water. The skeletal teeth turning into tombstones. The underground/drowning/death/shadow thing was some heavy shit, man. I wanted to go and see the film again just so I could see the title sequence. So I looked it up on YouTube and you know what? They were clever but not all that, sister. Too clever. Too many references to the film itself. Too cerebral. Disappointing.
But you know the best opening credits OF ALL TIME??? A children's program called In The Night Garden. The visuals and the music fuse to form a perfect image so beautiful that every time I see the show I nearly cry. The boat recedes over the waves, the stars burn bright in the sky, and as the string melody swells, the stars burst into flower and we are pushing our way through the blossoms and into the Night Garden.
It captures for me perfectly that feeling when I was a child of being lost in a dream and half knowing it, half not. Of feeling the bed roll and sway as you float up towards the ceiling. It's the music of a lost age.
I can't remember if I've mentioned before that the word "nostalgia" derives from concept of a painful memory, but now has come to mean a longing for a thing long gone. These credits trigger memories I never had. They are the best ever. And it's on TV every night at 6.30 pm.
Tune in, turn back, drop off.