The Disruptive Scene-Setting of Doug Liman’s Introductions

By  · Published on November 8th, 2017

The director doesn’t waste time putting the audience in the moment.

As far as conventional films go, Doug Liman tries hard to keep his running total at zero. Part of this methodology comes from his kinetic, creative direction that throws the audience off-kilter – often almost immediately.

While other directors may give into tradition with studio logos and pre-film credits, Liman often disrupts the conventional Hollywood intros (or subverts the traditional expectations of logo and theme music) to situate his audience inside the tone he wishes to establish for the rest of the film. Think of Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. the World intro with its 8-bit version of the Universal theme, but multiplied times a filmography.

The always brilliant essayist Nelson Carvajal showcases Liman’s openings, interspersed with his own commentary – disrupting the disruptor, if you will – that explains the details and meanings behind what could otherwise be written off as cheeky over-edited technique.

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Jacob Oller writes everywhere (Vanity Fair, The Guardian, Playboy, FSR, Paste, etc.) about everything that matters (film, TV, video games, memes, life).