Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 147 - The Lowering of Cars

Day 147.

Being a radio/TV/film major sure has its perks. For one, I get to watch movies in a lot of my classes (forget that my parents are paying an exorbitant amount of money for me to do so). Plus, I'm definitely learning something important about media and culture and... communication, I think? Not to mention that I'm gaining valuable moving-watching experience that I will be able to apply later on in my life (and in this blog!)

But anyways, last week I was afforded the opportunity to watch Rain Man for the first time in my "Making the Bromance" class (Yes, that is a real class), when I noticed something all-too-familiar in the opening credits sequence.

If you've seen Julie & Julia 147 times like I have, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Opening Scene from Rain Man (1988)
Opening Scene from Julie & Julia (2009)

Both films feature drawn-out opening sequences of fancy-looking cars being lowered from the skies!

I mean, these images are literally some of the first things you see in both movies--coincidence? I think not. My initial reaction to watching Rain Man in class was "Thievery! They did this exact scene in Julie & Julia!" But then the logic center of my brain kicked in and I realize that it was probably the other way around.

Julie & Julia (2009)
Rain Man (1988)

So yeah... I don't know what to make of this exactly. Is car-lowering some sort of common cinematic trope that I'm just unaware of? This whole thing is remarkably similar to the lobster cooking scenes in Julie & Julia and Annie Hall. Maybe nothing in this movie is original at all--they're all scenes stolen from older, more noteworthy films. I wouldn't be surprised.

But actually, I'm curious to know what kind of motivation drove both filmmakers to make the thematic choice to open up their movies with cars descending from the heavens above? I mean, I guess its a cool image--and luxury cars play a pretty integral role in the narrative of Rain Man. I just can't figure out why Julie & Julia had to start out that way too. I mean, I guess it illustrated the importance of the Childs' big move to Paris or something. I just can't help but shake the feeling that the J&J producers sat in a room and thought "Hey, Rain Man was a pretty successful movie! Let's just steal their opening credits sequence and hope no one notices!"

Well, guess what probably non-existent faceless producers? I noticed.

(Also stolen from Rain Man: Dual protagonists, one of which is mentally challenged.)


Julie & Julia
Quote of the Day: "It's raining."


  1. I think it's a tone thing. Bringing over a luxury car across the ocean definitely implies something about the character. It says they're wealthy, for one thing. It says that they're coming to another country, and they likely intend to stay for a while. They might be a be a bit ethnocentric, or at least set in their ways- don't want to get anything new, just want to bring all of their stuff with them.

    Plus, it looks cool!

  2. Beet that was an excellent commentary.

  3. @NEC: There is no place for excellent commentary on this blog.

  4. Ahahahaha, your comment at the end is hilarious!

  5. Titanic!! They did it in Titanic too! Also I'm a teacher on break this week- watched Enchanted for the first time out of boredom this afternoon & kept thinking of you cause Amy Adams was so awful (well, the entire movie was).

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