A frisson of first impressions in a single take, we root around a character and see something in the recipe.
This long take opening to JVCD sports a hyperreal sequence that smashes a few formulas while giving us a newly vintaged Van Damme; a survivalist who knows every tough guy trick in the book.
The cleaving abyss issues through a blue-eyed Ellie into the world of Robert Zemeckis’ Contact.
Feature commentary excerpt with Actress Jodie Foster from the Special Edition DVD:
The credit sequence for this movie is pretty spectacular, so if you really want to watch it turn me off, now. If you talk to people who [work in] special effects or people who are really interested in the visuals of movies they'll have volumes and volumes to talk about but this opening credit sequence, this amazing backward zoom through the Universe that takes you from the 'too many sounds and too many voices' of who we are on Earth and into the past where all of our sounds and all of the radio signals that we have emitted finally takes you to the quieter place where none of our high volume squeals and noises actually appear.
But for those of us who are not that interested in visual effects, like myself, it is a very interesting journey in the film, an interesting journey for the characters. You get this idea that you're in a space ship, let's say, or some kind of device that is taking you all the way back in time, to a place in the Universe where no Earthling has ever been. And I guess you have to assume that because this is the point of view of the lead character, Ellie Arroway that this is her image, her imagination, her idea of what a journey like this would really be like. So much of the film, as it continues, is pretty much about that same idea.
This is the best part, where [the screen] goes very quiet and, if you've ever seen this in a theater, there are a lot of people feeling very uncomfortable because they think the sound just went off in the theater.
This is a view of the Universe that no one has ever had and it really comes out of Carl's Sagan life's work. We saw all the little spiral galaxies and all the different types of galaxies and now you go into this array which comes out. And as we zoom out and we zoom out of a little girl's eye. The 'ins and outs' of this is that Jenna Malone, the actor who plays me, doesn't really have blue eyes, so that's the very first effect in the movie [proper].
Realized by VFX house Digital Domain, under the visual direction of Kevin Tod Haug for David Fincher's post-punk soliloquy, irreverence and lack of context are perhaps this sequence’s greatest assets, aided further by a mash-up Dust Brothers score cranked to 11 and a rave-flyer-inspired sans serif typeface designed by the late P. Scott Makela.
In the sequence, we follow a path outwards from the “fear center” of our protagonist's brain, moving through various cerebral micro-landscapes and exiting a skin pore, gracefully ending between the sights of a Smith and Wesson 4506 pointed into his mouth.
This immediate relationship between cause and effect – where the source of fear is linked directly to the chemistry behind that emotion – establishes that the violence in Fight Club is not trivial. For as many times as the movie-going public has seen a gun in someone’s mouth, they've never considered its tangible emotional weight – at least, not to the visceral extent of Fight Club. It's a sentiment that isn't easily forgotten during the film’s many, many fight scenes.
A feather in the proverbial cap of a grounded idiot savant about to take off. Like spotless laces on muddy sneakers, this deserves a little looking into.
Actor Tom Hanks:
Our destiny is only defined by how we deal with the chance elements to our life. That is the embodiment of the feather; here is this thing that can land anywhere, and it lands at your feet.
Actor Sally Field:
Part of the picture is about fate. The feather blows in the wind and touches down here or there. Was it planned or was it per chance?
Exhalant, exhaust and exhaustion. Sniffing the rusty air while the demon circles. There are moments when the pain in this life is too great. The length of these moments put a fine point on who we are.