Saul Bass

Bonjour Tristesse

Here is a terrific interactive gallery of Saul Bass title sequences. It’s by no means every film title he did, but the majority of his most important title design work is included here. As an aside, it’d be cool to see somebody create galleries like this for classic animated shorts, with commentary on who animated which scenes and other geeky details.

And a couple more Bass-related bits. When I interviewed Saul Bass’s close associate Art Goodman a few months ago, he told me that he had been interviewed for a major forthcoming book on Bass. I can’t wait for this book. Bass is one of the most important mid-century graphic designers (with movie titles being just one facet of his work) and it’s damn near criminal that there isn’t an authoritative document concerning his life and work. It looks like the book that Art was telling me about is now listed on Amazon, though unfortunately it won’t be released until November 2006. It’s being written by Pat Kirkham with an intro by Martin Scorsese. Also, this short film compilation DVD on Amazon has a rare half-hour interview with Bass. A reviewer on Amazon writes: “30 minutes of Saul Bass talking straight into the camera, explaining how he came up with his famous title sequences for IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD and MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM. He talks about 10 different title sequences.” I haven’t seen this, but I’m definitely planning on picking up a copy. (Thanks to Will Kane for the dvd tip)