CLOSE
Original image

Making a Study of Film Titles

Original image

The opening titles of a film can say a lot about what’s to follow. When I saw Napoleon Dynamite, I recall watching the opening credits – featuring names scrolled out across bland cafeteria lunches and school supplies – and thinking that the movie was going to be rather odd. Which it was:

In the case of Zombieland, the opening sequence sets up the rules by which the characters live for the rest of the movie. For instance, Rule #1 stresses the importance of Cardio - which is especially useful when a zombie is chasing you:

When it comes to Dirty Harry, the opening titles leave little doubt about the demeanor of its titular character – as Clint emerges for the first time looking calm and in control:

These are just a few of the many opening credit sequences compiled on Art of the Title. The site describes itself like this:

A compendium and leading web resource of film and television title design from around the world. We honor the artists who design excellent title sequences. We discuss and display their work with a desire to foster more of it, via stills and video links, interviews, creator notes, and user comments.

Art of the Title will certainly open your eyes to the creative ingenuity of motion picture title designers.

And, if you’re anything like me, it will also make you realize that sometimes the title that best serves the final product is also the most scaled-down one – as is the case with the hauntingly-simplistic title to LOST:

(Via IMDB)

twitterbanner.jpg

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
What's the Difference Between Vanilla and French Vanilla Ice Cream?
Original image
iStock

While you’re browsing the ice cream aisle, you may find yourself wondering, “What’s so French about French vanilla?” The name may sound a little fancier than just plain ol’ “vanilla,” but it has nothing to do with the origin of the vanilla itself. (Vanilla is a tropical plant that grows near the equator.)

The difference comes down to eggs, as The Kitchn explains. You may have already noticed that French vanilla ice cream tends to have a slightly yellow coloring, while plain vanilla ice cream is more white. That’s because the base of French vanilla ice cream has egg yolks added to it.

The eggs give French vanilla ice cream both a smoother consistency and that subtle yellow color. The taste is a little richer and a little more complex than a regular vanilla, which is made with just milk and cream and is sometimes called “Philadelphia-style vanilla” ice cream.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered in 2010—when Baskin-Robbins decided to eliminate French Vanilla from its ice cream lineup—ice cream industry consultant Bruce Tharp noted that French vanilla ice cream may date back to at least colonial times, when Thomas Jefferson and George Washington both used ice cream recipes that included egg yolks.

Jefferson likely acquired his taste for ice cream during the time he spent in France, and served it to his White House guests several times. His family’s ice cream recipe—which calls for six egg yolks per quart of cream—seems to have originated with his French butler.

But everyone already knew to trust the French with their dairy products, right?

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
iStock
arrow
science
Belly Flop Physics 101: The Science Behind the Sting
Original image
iStock

Belly flops are the least-dignified—yet most painful—way of making a serious splash at the pool. Rarely do they result in serious physical injury, but if you’re wondering why an elegant swan dive feels better for your body than falling stomach-first into the water, you can learn the laws of physics that turn your soft torso a tender pink by watching the SciShow’s video below.

SECTIONS

More from mental floss studios