Brain Pickings

The Reel Stuff: Top 3 Sites for Harcore Film Buffs

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Hitchcock vs. Jason Reitman, the laserdisc’s most valuable heritage, and why David Caruso is now more quotable than ever.

You were that kid in film class. Or you never even took film class and still wish you had. Just so you could be that kid. You can quote any Sundance film on cue and name-drop obscure directors like a top-40 rapper does bling brands. Your knowledge of German Expressionism and Soviet Montage is directly proportionate to your contempt for IMDB, so it’s only fitting that we bring you the top 3 gems by film geeks, for film geeks.

ART OF THE TITLE

In our line of work, we know every touchpoint with a brand is important, every detail of the package matters and needs to work with the contents. And because every film is its own mini-brand, the best of them pay special attention to one very special element of the package: the opening credits.

Which is why we’re head over reels with Art of the Title — a project dedicated entirely to the coolest, the smartest, the most visually engaging of movie title sequences.

You’ll find anything from the colossally classic like Vertigo, to the excruciating bio-realism of Fight Club, to the uncomplicated playfulness of Napoleon Dynamite.

We’d love to see them add some more of our favorites: like the opening credits of Mad Men and Weeds, and the end credits of Superbad. Now here’s a final project for your next film class.

MOVIE TITLE SCREENS

Wanna get even more specific and anal about opening sequences? Zoom in solely on the movie’s title. For 11 years now, mega film buff Steven Hill has been doing just that. His Movie Title Screens Page is as far from a mere page as it gets: it’s a fascinating library of 5,301 movie title slides encompassing more than 7 decades of film.

You can see the evolution of title design over the years, compare title screens of alternate releases of the same film, or just gawk at the amount of work that went into this. And to think it all started almost by fluke, thanks to a crappy laserdisc.

WAXY

A true film buff is nothing if not obsessive. And when they’re compulsive about being obsessive, well, it could either result in institutionalization, or yield a brilliant project. Luckily, Andy Baio over at WAXY has decided to skew brilliant with his Fanboy Supercuts collection of “obsessive video montages” stringing together every utterance of a specific word or phrase in a specific film, TV show or video game.

The collection ranges from the expected yet delightful (like every uttrance of “dude” in Big Lebowski), to the inside-jokish (like every “lupus” reference in House), to the unhelpably smile-inducing (like every sound of a door, button or explosion in The Incredibles), to the indulgently absurd (like David Caruso’s each-more-laughable-than-the-next one-liners on CSI: Miami.)


If you’ve got some of your own, go ahead and post them in the comments to be added to the collection. We’re waiting for someone with more free time than us to finally splice together every “mothafucka” in every Samuel L. Jackson movie.

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