Crawling toward obscurity

Now, Eternals was bad -- and I've already had some words about that -- but I have not yet seen anyone bust on the opening crawl.

Which is CLEARLY an, uh, homage to Blade Runner (violating the cardinal rule of cover songs, "never remind the audience of a better band they could be watching instead") but so ham-handed that it does not replicate (see what I did there?) the MOST RECOGNISABLE features of that crawl: its own bizarrely mismatched fonts!

If you're gonna goof on something, goof on it right!

It's like -- whichever intern got assigned the job of "hey pal, go fake-up a Blade Runner crawl" looked at it and was like, hmmmmm, it looks like whoever did this accidentally screwed up the fonts, while I am immitating this thing I had better correct their error."

Now you may recall that I have some Opinions about Blade Runner, but let me now turn the mic over to the eminently more qualified Typeset In The Future:

Blade Runner's opening crawl is distinctly un-futuristic in its choice of font. It uses Goudy Old Style -- designed by Frederic W. Goudy in 1915 -- as part of a veritable typographic cornucopia. Within five-and-a-bit paragraphs, we are treated to several inconsistently spaced examples of small caps), and five -- count them! -- examples of particularly chunky em dashes. (Thankfully, they do not follow the freaky American style of removing -- for no reason at all -- their surrounding spaces.)

My favorite aspects of this opening crawl, however, are the arbitrary examples of Mid-Sentence Capitalized Words, as popularized by A. A. Milne and P. L. Travers.

I mean. Gestures Wildly.

By the way, the Eternals Pitch Meeting is very good.

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6 Responses:

  1. asan102 says:

    You know, before today I considered myself at least a casual type nerd, but I must admit I'm not seeing these supposed inconsistencies in the spacing of the small-caps phrases -- and while it's an unlikely selection, I believe the various oddly-deployed weights on display are at least all the same typeface so I'm not sure that "mismatched" is quite appropriate, either.

    But yes yes, kids these days etc.

    • Jon says:

      In the left screen shot, compare the word "NEXUS" on the 3rd line with the one directly below it on the 5th line. The latter has more space between the letters; if you compare the horizontal position of the start & end of each word it's clear that the upper one takes up less space. Not a huge difference, but it's there.

  2. Eric TF Bat says:

    I thought the opening crawl was a homage* to Scientology and Battlestar Galactica and other such bugfuck crazy nonsense. It's clear that a "whole universe was created by powerful aliens" philosophy is 0% compatible with the rest of the MCU, so it had to be metaphorical. Or something.

    * Pronouncing the h in homage is how it's done. Unless you're, you know, French or something.

  3. BHN says:

    I can't think of many things more Phildickian than ancient typefaces in far-future Los Angeles but I have no idea why the Eternals are using them. Maybe they hang on to fonts like humans only love the music they grew up with.

  4. TORLEY says:

    Good gosh! That "Typeset In The Future" article is a masterpiece in ubercompiling everything even faintly related to how typography plays a role in Blade Runner. Thanks for the share, I missed this in 2016.

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