"Titles should be engaging in a character way, it has to help set the scene, and you can do that elaborately or minimally"
Finches often looks to the opening as a prologue to the film. An example of one of his minimalistic title sequences would be Fight Club (1999) in which we start at the fear centre of the brain and see lots of electrical synapse activity, indicating we're viewing something which will be both thrilling and psychological. Due to the sequence being very graphically based with no characters, this leaves the rest of the film open to interpretation and raises many questions of what's later to come.
A fitting example of his elaborate title sequences is SE7EN (1995) where we see glimpses of the antagonist, though we're unaware at the time, who is preparing himself for the torturous murders he commits. Because we see lots of shots of bizarre activity and mildly disturbing images we pick up a sense of what this film is leading us into.
Fight Club (1999) - Title Sequence
Fincher does not always use a title sequence if he cannot find a good idea for one or it doesn't seem fitting. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) is an example of this.
2. Deconstruct the opening of Fincher's film SE7EN.
The needle sewing two pages together symbolizes the plan coming together.
The two images of hands side-by-side resembles the idea of good and bad, as one is dark and the other is light. The hand may mean control. This could show the conflict of the antagonist and protagonist.
Alternatively, the two main character are Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman and appear from the same body, each hand could mean they're part of the same bigger body, helping one another as there's something wrong with both of them, hence the hands seeming disjointed and broken.
The removal of the word "GOD" from the bill at the end could signify unholiness or satanism.
We see a razor blade that's being used to cut off skin from the tips of fingers, then later plasters on the finger tips of hands and can assume that there is one person behind this scheming.
As the hands and finger nails appear particularly dirty, the person involved seems unhygienic. This could also mean they're hard working as they obviously don't use it as an excuse to stop working.
The book and writing are representative an elaborate plan that has taken years to put together. Just as the way a book is carefully planned. If there is a plan, there must be people involved and as there are frequent images of people, some unpleasant, it's safe to assume that this plan isn't nice and is likely to involve police or another authority.
3. What kind of story world is signposted in the opening of the film SE7EN?
It carries traits of a dark psychological thriller because the images are gruesome and raise many questions. Also because the non-diagetic audio is twisted, distorted and crackly. This provides an uneasy atmosphere, giving the anticipation that something dark will happen/is happening/ has happened.
Because this dark plan seems very heavily documented, I assume the person is either mentally ill or is under pressure from a higher power (or believe they are), likely God, as the theme of religion is implemented at the end of the opening. Perhaps the theme of identity if brought in also, as the eyes of the people in the images are crossed out, though this may alternately depict guild or even that the murdered doesn't think of the victims as people.
The colours used are all dark and grainy, again setting the mood. The exception to this is the occasional cut to red, undoubtably signifying death or something satanic at least.
The opening to this movie looks like it could be a number of things, though it will indisputably be dark.