Incendies, Denis Villenueve’s twisty political thriller from 2010, washed over me and left me in a bit of a haze when I first saw it. I’ve only seen it the once and as I try to recall the specifics of the plot while writing this I am struggling without a quick look at Wikipedia. I remember liking the film but it’s not one that has especially stayed with me. It’s opening frames, however, have been permanently burned into my memory.
The film begins to the sound of Radiohead’s You and Whose Army?, a haunting, echoey track from their 2002 album Amnesiac as we see a room full of bruised and clearly traumatised young boys. A group of armed figures slink around them, shaving their hair, prepping them for a future in warfare. This mix of sound and image combines so wonderfully that as soon as the camera zero’s in on one lone boy, staring straight at us as Yorke’s voice wails – there are some serious goosebumps to be had. It’s so good in fact that it manages to make an already incredible song even better. An amazing opening sequence that the film never quite lives up to.