300309: KW Institute for Contemporary Art: Vorspannkino – 54 titles of an exhibition

KW Institute for Contemporary Art: Vorspannkino – 54 titles of an exhibition Pure prelude The Berlin Kunstwerke are attempting to add something new to the liaison cinema and museum: the opening credits, which has always been an essential part of a movie, oftentimes considered a necessary evil or annoying accessory. Most introductions to a film attract the viewer’s attention right from the start: they transcend the limits of solely being an information medium and, combined with graphics, pictures and sound, they surpass their status of simply being a piece of commissioned work; they actually come across as an independent creation. Saul Bass, who produced the opening to Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958) and “Psycho” (1960), is one who escaped from his undeserved anonymity. With these two examples one could (insufficiently) categorize all of the 54 film titles presented at this exhibition. Most of them focus, in addition to the usage of overpowering symbolism, which points to what will follow, on the sensuous or the abstract. They claim one of the three elements – picture, sound, or graphics – as their leitmotiv or principle: you will find the eye playing an important role in Samuel Beckett’s “Film” (1965) or John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds” (1966), while the opening credits to Orson Welles’ “The Magnificent Amerbersons” (1942) and in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Le Mépris” (1963) are recited, and in Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Uccellacci e uccellini (1966) they are sung. Graphics dominate Billy Wilder’s “The Seven Year Itch” (1955) and Norman Jewison’s “the Thomas Crown Affair” (1968) and again in Stephen Spielberg’s “Catch me if you can” (2002). The random choice of films points to two aspects: the 60s were not only characterized by their readiness to try out new things in the field of fine arts, but it was primarily the (nearly extinct) species of an auteur who placed great value on an elaborate introduction to his film. It comes as no surprise that Quentin Tarantino put forth such great emotions in the production of his title sequences – thereby giving “Death Proof” (2007) a completely unintentional deeper meaning. By Peter Kunitzky KW Institute for Contemporary Art 10117 Berlin, Auguststrasse 69, until 19.04.09 www.kw-berlin.de

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
10117 Berlin, Auguststraße 69
Tel: 0049 (0) 30. 24 34 59 0, Fax: 0049 (0) 30. 24 34 59 99
Email: info@kw-berlin.de
Öffnungszeiten: Mi-Mo 11-19, Do 11-21 h

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