With the Oscars coming up this weekend, time to once again trot out my I-wish-it-were-an-Oscar-category category. A song during a film’s title sequence can be nominated for an Oscar, but the title sequence itself cannot.
In other words, there should be an Academy Award for Best Title Design.
Makeup artists, film editors, and song composers receive awards for their artistry, but creators of title sequences are overlooked by the Academy.
Who amongst the many great title sequences of 2012 could be nominated? Here are my nominees:
Since I’m picking nominees, I might as well pick a winner, too. The Oscar goes to… Daniel Kleinman for Skyfall. This was Kleinman’s sixth Bond title sequence. As usual, he takes a central aspect of the film and constructs a magnificent title sequence around it using ideas and imagery from the film. The striking images, the driving forward motion, and the superb connection to the film make Kleinman’s title sequence this year’s best.
For more kick-ass title sequences, check out my Letterboxd list of some of the most outstanding title sequences for film.
Now, if we could only find out who wins for Best Title Design on Sunday….
I came across something today I was unaware of: a rejected theme song for the Bond film Quantum of Solace. As I noted in my review of the film (which was also a review of the music), the title song was performed by Alicia Keys and Jack White and was written by White. In my review, I wasn’t shy about my distaste for the song and its lack of a discernible melody that composer David Arnold could use in his score for the film.
Well, today I learned that not only did David Arnold write a song for the film, he used pieces of the song throughout the score like a Bond score should when a decent tune is written and recorded the song with the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey, who is no stranger to the Bond universe with performances of the title songs for Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, and Moonraker. Arnold’s song, though, was rejected. Thankfully, Bassey has included it on her new album, The Performance.
Some wise YouTube user decided to strip the title sequence from Quantum of Solace of its gag-inducing song and replaced it with the Arnold/Bassey song. I posted the title sequence for Quantum of Solace a while back, but the YouTube video I linked to was taken down, so for comparison’s sake, here’s the original:
And here is the title sequence with the Arnold/Bassey song:
The song, titled “No Good About Goodbye,” is a classic Bond song with sweeping strings and a sultry voice and is far superior to the mess of a tune that was the White/Keys “Another Way to Die.” Perhaps the film’s producers didn’t think this song fit the edgier feel of the film, but the song fits with the classic Bond persona and is a nice throwback to the Connery films: edgy film (as compared to latter entries in the franchise) plus Bassey anthem.
If you’re interested in a digital copy of the Arnold/Bassey song, unfortunately, as of this writing, an MP3 version isn’t available from either iTunes or Amazon. Hopefully one will be available soon.