Saul Bass

I met Saul Bass and his wife Elaine in 1994, at a design conference in  Aspen. He was a sweet man, but I remember being rather in awe of him.  Bass (1920-1996), a graphic designer, had elevated the opening credit sequence of movies into a miniature art form. His credits included the titles (and sometimes the posters) for The Man with the Golden Arm, Anatomy of a Murder, and Around the World in 80 Days—where the opening sequence was actually at the end. Most of the title sequences were animated, although one of the most memorable, for Edward Dmytryk’s A Walk on the Wild Side, was filmed—a strolling cat. I though of Bass last night, watching It’s a Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild World. The film was dated, not very funny, in some way mean-spirited; the  striking titles, on the other hand, were still fresh, much better than the movie. But that was often the case with Bass.


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