26 March 2010

The Saul Bass Look

Saul, who?  Trust me, you know the look even if you don't know the name. Saul Bass was (and still is) the most (only) well-known graphic designer in the film industry. Responsible for posters and title sequences that came to define the weird, jazzy, angular spirit of the late 60s, his influence on our own modern nostalgia for the era is undeniable. He's designed the titles for over 40 films, including West Side Story, Vertigo, Casino, and It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Mr. Bass said:
My initial thoughts about what a title can do was to set mood and the prime underlying core of the film’s story, to express the story in some metaphorical way. I saw the title as a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film actually began, viewers would already have an emotional resonance with it
Here's his poster and title sequence for North by Northwest






























So...uh...Mad Men.  Homage or plagarism? 

Anyway it seems to have become a popular past time to rip off his look in mainstream movies (Panic Room, Catch Me If You Can),  and amateur online fan videos (Star Wars sesms to be a popular one).  So why not create a Saul Bass-like title sequence for LOST, the show that popularized the minimalist title?  As the A.V. Club says, "Great Job, Internet."



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