Since my duo post colleague and I will be looking at this 2005 film next week, I thought to highlight an aspect some have overlooked. Hostage‘s quite eye-catching movie titles. I suspect the French filmmaker, Florent-Emilio Siri, encouraged the striking, video game-minded visuals for the film’s opening credits. I mean, Siri by this time had already directed two Splinter Cell game variants, Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory, before he ever made his American film debut. The approach paid-off.
Crafted by the same guy who collaborated with Siri on his previous film, Nid de guêpes (aka, The Nest, 2002), his fellow compatriot and motion graphic designer Laurent Brett did très bien. The Hostage titles stood out for a number of reasons. Those who regularly admire opening and closing credits will immediately spot two motifs and films influencing Brett’s work. Sin City (out that same year) and 2002’s Panic Room. The former’s high contrast and distinct color palette blended with the latter’s organic title typography floating within scene landscape.
Brett even launched the whole flow of it à la Sin City with an aerial drop-in to a starkly depicted City of the Angels. Watch the Titles described it thusly:
“This dark and atmospheric 3D title sequence announces a dramatic event that will take place in a house in an upscale suburb of Los Angeles.”
The film’s opening carried through a hunter’s perspective, seemingly stalking prey into and out of the vacant urban setting. The sharp black and white imagery as the primary transport through a police-hostage backdrop, with the titles jutting out as discrete elements in the foreground. Tracking a soon to appear quarry. The color red, as usual, noticeable. Characterizing the human element in it all, or perhaps signaling a warning. An utterly graphic, camera-always-in-motion, computer generated sequence. A real stunner that pressed the inner-city viewpoint, I believe.
The entirety done with an unmistakable design and flair. An homage piece, for sure, that created its own well-defined identity. Without a doubt, the movie titles helped enormously by Alexandre Desplat‘s pulsing, moody theme music amping the tone. Hmm…three Frenchmen coming together to do great work. Does that make it a ménage à trois? Okay, enough of my rotten French. Enjoy the titles.
To view this sequence in higher definition, click over to these great movie titles sites and check out their clips:
The Art of the Title – Hostage (2005)
Watch the Titles – Hostage