The Man in the High Castle

This Wild Design post will discuss the opening title sequence for the television showThe Man in the High Castle. The sequence uses imagery, sound and music to help the viewer understand the fictional world the television show represents and provide a key element to its plot line. You can find the sequence here: https://vimeo.com/173250809

The Man in the High Castle is about an alternate history where the Axis powers win World War II. Japan occupies the western states and Germany occupies the eastern half of our country. The image I selected to feature in this post shows the United States split in two. It’s a powerful and unsettling image for an American.

The title sequence begins with the sound of a projector. This is a key element to the entire show as the series is based around films that depict alternative versions of World War II. The music that plays throughout the sequences is a haunting rendering of an Austrian folk song called Edleweiss. The song is soft and acoustic. The singer is female with an English voice but a heavy German accent. The final words of the song are haunting, “Edelweiss, edelweiss, bless my home-land forever.” The sequence’s use of imagery to tell the story of how Germany and Japan invaded the United States is outstanding. It shows famous American monuments and historical sites cast against images of German and Japanese power as well as American military defeat.

The Man in the High Castle’s title sequence is excellent. It gives clues to the plot, sets-up the series’ story and made this viewer uncomfortable. Watching other countries occupy your homeland is disturbing.

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