Monday 27 August 2012

360: Why Titles are Crucial

I have this habit of sometimes going to a movie I know absolutely nothing about, just because the time of the showing happens to fit with my movements on the day.

This has thrown up some superb bits of cinema which otherwise I might have ignored.

For example, I will go to a movie I would have otherwise shunned, because of an unattractive title.

In the case of 360, I was hardly even sure that was the title. Was it perhaps a misprint of the show times?

Anyway, I schlepped along, and once again I was rewarded for taking a punt. I loved 360. Beautiful and very striking photography. Impressive editing. Great cast. And, best of all, an engaging story with well rounded characters.

Because I knew nothing about it the movie, I had no idea who had written or directed it. But I was impressed and wanted to know.

Well, they're an impressive team.

Screenwriter Peter Morgan's credit's include The Queen, The Last King of Scotland and The Other Boleyn Girl. The director was Fernando Meirelles who had helmed (as they say in Tinseltown) City of God and The Constant Gardener.

I say I knew nothing about 360 before I went to see it. That's not quite true. I did know one thing.

It was a truly dreadful title, which would inspire people to avoid the movie like the plague.

Numbers don't make great titles for films. Sure, there was Seven. But that was, at least, spelled as a word. We could see that it was a title.

Perhaps they considered this for 360. If so, I image the discussion fell apart at the point where they couldn't decide if these numerals should be rendered as 'Three Hundred and Sixty' or 'Three Sixty'.

Or maybe they thought they could cash in on the success of Frank Miller's 300. Bad call.

I don't really know what the thought process was behind naming this film.

I just know it consigned a memorable and well made film to oblivion.

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