I managed to catch Fincher’s amazingly uninhibited The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the other day, (review here) and was simply blown away by the fantastic, adrenalin-pumping title sequence that opened the film. I’ve got to admit that I really enjoy a creative and exciting intro sequence but as you may have noticed, they remain a rather uncommon addition. Obviously the films that are the flag-bearers for the cinematic title sequence are those in the James Bond franchise, and until Dragon Tattoo, I didn’t think I would see a sequence that surpasses the one that opens Casino Royale.
It has happened though, and what Fincher has given us with Dragon Tattoo is essentially the blackest (in colour and tone) Bond sequence ever created. What further appealed to me was the stylistic association with, and aesthetic nod to the work of H.R Giger, who famously forged his own unique style by blending man and machine in one organic whole. This association was no accident as explained by the sequence director, Tim Miller.
When we originally started out he wanted to find some sort of defining creative pulsar that we could head towards — like for Alien, it was [H.R.] Giger’s work. It was the aesthetic that guided that whole movie.
The sequence beautifully foreshadows, and references many of the plot and thematic elements in the film (and the whole trilogy). The dragon is of course obvious, and the other creatures such as the Phoenix and Wasp are indicative of Lisbeth Salander’s other tattoos. The consistent liquid imagery is a reference to the water that separates the Island on which the story takes place and the technological elements, wires, keyboards etc are an obvious nod to Lisbeth’s cyberpunk character.
The only thing that remains to be said is that, as visually impressive as the sequence is, it certainly has that extra kick thanks to the amazing soundtrack from Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross who also collaborated on Fincher’s last film, The Social Network. The Immigrant Song, as it’s titled, has that amazingly high-voltage beat and wailing vocal backing that works incredibly well with the dark and dangerous style of the sequence. An absolute marriage of artistry.