Sin City

Sin City (2005) is a neo-noir crime thriller created and directed by Frank Miller. The film is based heavily on the graphic novel, Sin City (1991), which was also illustrated by Miller and perfectly demonstrates his ability to create dynamic and intense layouts with dark comic art. The mood of the novel is captured so well in this intro sequence, with the high contrast of the black and white with the red accent which the original book was done in. The name card transitions specifically are supposed to be closer in representation to the book than the rest of the film and this transition can be seen when the camera pans up from the cityscape and illuminates the words ‘Sin City’ which fades into the novel’s logo. From there, the rest of the opening sequence is all illustrated, unlike the rest of the film, which blends both the graphic novel and film adaptation together in a way that comes together to create one unified telling of Sin City.

As for the transitions of the name cards, they are a callback to the visual style of the graphic novel medium, with some vibes of Sin City’s distinct art style. Because of this, the movement in each still is kept to a minimum to imitate the stillness of a graphic novels panels. The brief glimpse at each of the illustrated character portraits is reminiscent of the noir, crime-thriller that Sin City is trying to embody. Going along with this, both the text and images move side to side for about a second or 2 each. Just enough time to get the credit and snag a glimpse at each character’s actions or personalities.

The typography found in this sequence is the same for each transition and is a similar typeface, if not the same, as the Logo. In the opening sequence, the red highlight is still a tertiary element which is why it is red, seeing as black and white are the primary and secondary colors with red being used to draw attention to certain aspects of a scene or a character. Color is used this way in the intro and is also used to develop the narrative, as new colors get introduced (like green) which can make certain character features a lot more prominent, given the context.

Since the entire title sequence is done as an illustration, there isn’t any light that is crucial to developing a scene, however, the illustrations are all dimly lit, in-scene, and fade in and out which further ties into the candid glimpses we get of these characters. This excellently captures the mood as most of the movie takes place in the dead of night with dimly and starkly lit scenes that fit nicely into the noir genre. Keeping with the theme of themes of the movie, most of the musical cues are low, sultry bass with some brass for emphasis. Sound is important to setting the scene of any piece of media and while it isn’t the most important element given that the source material is a graphic novel, the deep bass-y jazz sets the scene for a dark and gritty crime thriller but takes a backseat to the visuals during the title sequence.